Your New, Ultra-Conservative House of Representatives

Looking only at Democrats who took over Republican-held seats, here is a list of incoming Democratic freshmen in the House who are probably going to join the Progressive caucus:
  • AZ-08: Gabrielle Giffords
  • CA-11: Jerry McNerney
  • IA-01: Bruce Braley
  • NH-19: John Hall
In addition to the already listed McNerney, here are the incoming netroots candidates (we only endorsed challengers in 2006):
  • MN-01: Tim Walz
  • NH-02: Paul Hodes
  • NC-08: Larry Kissell (maybe)
  • PA-07: Joe Sestak
  • PA-08: Patrick Murphy
  • WA-08: Darcy Burner (probably)
In addition to the already listed Braley, Hodes, Sestak, Murphy and McNerney, here are the incoming Democrats from blue districts who took over Republican-held seats:
  • CT-02: Joe Courtney
  • IA-02: Dave Loebsack
  • CT-05: Chris Murphy
  • FL-22: Ron Klein
  • CO-07: Ed Perlmutter
  • KY-03: John Yarmuth
  • NH-01: Carol Shea-Porter
  • NY-24: Michael Arcuri
So, it looks like about 60%-70% of the incoming Democratic freshmen who took over Republican-held seats meet one of the three following criteria:
  • Joining the progressive caucus
  • From a blue district
  • Netroots candidate
Wow. What a conservative wave. A great victory for conservatives indeed. Throw in uber-conservative freshmen Phil Hare (IL-17), Keith Ellison (MN-05), and Mazie Hirono (HI-02), who all filled Democratic open-seats, and who will all probably join the progressive caucus, and this is the most conservative House of Representatives of all time. The most conservative part was probably when progressive Mazie Hirono took over for Blue Dog Ed Case in HI-02, after Case lost his Senate primary to ultra-conservative Daniel Akaka. A big right-wing shift, that. A close second was when progressive Bruce Braley took conservative Jim Nussle's seat, and then Nussle lost the Iowa Governor's race anyway. Truly, hard-right swings across the board.

Tom Schaller has a lot more on this.

Liberalism is the "True Conservatism"

Cross-posted from Patterns That Connect

(Begun in mid-October. Completed today.)

Ever since the Bush regime began noticeably sputtering near the beginning of its second term, a growing chorus of conservative voices has grown increasingly distressed, and as it has seemed that Bush's failures would come to tar an entire movement, the cry has increasingly gone forth that Bush is not a "true conservative." There is a problem in that claim, of course: it was not Bush alone, but his entire Administration, and the Republican majority in Congress, and at times a majority of conservative court appointees as well who were jointly responsible for the increasingly disastrous direction that the country has taken.  If Bush was not a "true conservative," then neither, one would think, were any of the other major players in the conservative movement of the past 30-plus years.

Absurd!

Or is it?

There's more...

Cultural Supremacist Message Could Haunt Republicans for a Generation

After spending an entire month looking over the demographics of the two major coalitions in early 2005, on April 15, 2005 I drew the following conclusion:The quickest way to summarize the developing demographic trends of the two coalitions is a white Christian coalition versus a non-white and / or non-Christian coalition. The voting habits of non-whites and white non-Christians are rapidly approaching parity, just as the voting of white Protestants and white Catholics are doing the same. Further, race and religion are now far better at determining how someone will vote than region, income, union membership, or pretty much anything else you could name.(...)

In the interim, which will form the majority of the rest of our lives, the role of progressives and of the Democratic coalition will be to bring about an end to the current order of identity as visualized by large segments of the country and the world. We will win where identity ends, and our children will thank us for it. Maybe there is a clash of civilizations, a clash we need to end. Maybe that is our role in the world. Every since I wrote that article, I became convinced that pluralism was a core value of progressivism, and that the "battle of civilizations" was a core value of conservatism. I became equally convinced that in order for progressives to succeed in the electoral realm, we needed the country to side with us on this binary opposition. Now, looking over demographic shifts in the two coalitions from 2004 to 2006 based on national exit polls of the two elections, that seems to be exactly what happened. (see 2004 exit polls and 2006 exit polls)

In 2006, Democrats made gains across the board because of Iraq, Katrina, Social Security, Corruption, et all. However, the true dagger came from Latinos who, to the tune of a shocking thirty points, shifted to Democrats more than any other demographic group in the country. This almost certainly because of the hateful, harsh, anti-immigration rhetoric from the conservative base, and refused to even listen to its leaders like Bush and McCain who wanted to adopt a more open approach. This shift accounted for between 25% and 30% of the entire shift to Democrats nationwide, and did not net Republicans any "backlash" gains whatsoever. Considering Latino population growth, that is the sort of dagger that will stick in and cause wounds to fester for a long, long time. It is also probably one of the main reasons why Democrats did so well among both Catholics and the youth vote.

Pluralism won out over the "battle of civilizations" this time around. Democrats won because the nation turned away from conservative ideas of cultural supremacy and turned toward progressive ideas of pluralism. The war on Latinos and Asians (the anti-immigration message), the war on non-Christians (which they called the war on Christmas), the war Muslims (which they call the war on terror), the war on the GLBT community, the war on poor African-Americans in New Orleans--this all failed for the conservative Republican base. Their general war on pluralism did not produce any sustainable backlash for them, but instead turned key, growing demographics towards Democrats. That not only played a key role in how Democrats won the 2006 elections, but in giving us momentum for many elections to come. If conservatives persist on running on a message that denounces the key demographic changes in this country, they can expect to quickly become reduced to a near-permanent minority in our national politics.

In the extended entry, I have included a list of the pro-Democratic shifts of numerous demographic groups.

There's more...

The Case For Tolerance

We now have come to a watershed period, having done what I would call a really great job of getting neocon Republicans out of the Congress. Now we are at a point where the 'we' aspects of blogs like MyDD will abruptly become transformed into critical issues. First of all, I might call the MyDD crowd a 'candidate advocacy' movement. From the perspective of two or three generations, this 'candidate advocacy' movement notion is a brand-new idea. I suppose something closely akin to it was practiced by labor unionists during the rise of the union movement. Now, I (blues), am not really a part of this candidate advocacy movement, but rather more a member of what can be called the progressive social action movement, perhaps represented most accurately by the Indymedia crowd (for example ' http://portland.indymedia.org/ '). They do not usually back candidates for office, and so are not nearly so fastidious about maintaining goodwill relationships with the people. They would sooner push than persuade. But on the other hand, they have been up and running far, far longer than the current candidate advocacy movement. So they have (in my estimation) a priceless stock of hard-learned knowledge that the MyDD style candidate advocacy people are in dire need of. That's why I have been posting here.

I am hoping that I will be able to back off a bit on my political blogging, which is not really an ideal strategy, given that this is a time when as much input is needed as ever. But I have particular personal needs and agendas (remember what those are?). But there is something I feel a need to emphasize strongly at this juncture. Things are about to change rather significantly on the political ground. Some of you may be aware that I have always emphasized the need for tolerance for blog constituents whose opinions diverge, within reasonable limits, from the general consensus of this blog. Also, I have pointed out the absolute necessity for 'keeping the blogging troops entertained.' And entertainer are always iconoclasts in every venue; it just goes with the turf.

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There's more...

Post-Election Day Open Thread

I am taking the rest of the night off. It will be a joyous, and long, sleep tonight. But two quick things before I go.
  • I just got word from the Webb campaign that all precincts have now reported. Here are the numbers: With 100% of precincts reporting and all provisional ballots counted, Webb leads 1,173,755 to 1,166,408, or 49.55% to 49.24%, a 7,347 vote margin. I'm pretty sure that's beyond his reach. We have won the Senate, but don't be surprised if Republicans keep trying to use Montana and Virginia as ways to undermine our legitimacy. Be vigilant. Fight back.

  • As Jonathan already noted, the national House exit poll is truly fascinating. Democrats won the under-30 vote by an enormous 60-38 margin. We are building a whole new progressive generation. And here is a big key: conservatives only outnumbered liberals by a 32%-20% margin. The is the closest I have ever seen the margin. As Simon Rosenberg wrote today, people really are abandoning conservatism.
Anyway, lots more on this stuff tomorrow. Discuss these and other topics. I need to get busy relaxing for an evening.

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