On Monday, Nancy Pelosi made an announcement that was buried amid the tumult over the Steny Hoyer-Jack Murtha battle for House majority leader. It was the appointment of Representative Michael Capuano, a Massachusetts Democrat, to be the head of Pelosi's "transition team" as she assumes the job of House speaker.
If you haven't read our virtually unprecedented online lede across the home page, please do. If Jane Harman is pushed out of her earned chairmanship of the House Intelligence Committee, it will be only because Nancy Pelosi has mixed her own ideological armor with her personal pique. Somehow, she and the other party leaders, even Rahm Emanuel--who, as you might know, I much admire--can tolerate John Dingell, John Conyers, and Charlie Rangel as committee chairmen, even though they are obsessives on the wrong side of almost every issue that will come before them.
Last fall, Arnold Schwarzenegger couldn't escape the huge crowds of union members and Democrats who protested his ballot initiatives that proposed reshaping the state's education, budget, and political systems. Protesters surrounded hotels where he spoke,gathered outside TV studios and restaurants where he appeared, and even confronted him in hallways and kitchens. The angry hordes reflected a statewide rejection of the once-popular governor--more than 55 percent of Californians disapproved of his job performance, and Democratic challengers led in early polls on the 2006 governor's race.
In the olden days of politics, electoral wipe outs were great spectacles to behold. When Democrats or Republicans slipped on the political banana peel, they would tumble, arms flailing like Chevy Chase, into congressional defeat. In the 1894 election, Democrats squandered 125 seats; in 1922, Republicans endured a loss of 77seats. This year, for the first time in over a decade, there's talk of a wipeout.
In September 2005, Bill Ritter, a Democratic candidate for governor of Colorado, stood in a Denver living room, surrounded by almost 60angry, crying women. His host, Beth Strickland, was the wife of Tom Strickland--the two-time Democratic Senate candidate--and the pro-choice women she had invited to this unusual campaign event spilled out of the living room and into adjoining rooms and hallways. But the force of their emotion was directed solely at Ritter, who stood at the far end of the room in front of a piano."Don't restrict women's right to choose," the women begged.
Bill Keller can't sleep. It is four o'clock on a sticky morning in the summer of 2007, and the executive editor of The New York Times is pacing his home, cursing Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Here is the root of his insomnia: A few months earlier, the Democrats recaptured the House.
A few weeks ago, the Republican Party faced a choice. It was not between victory and defeat in this fall's midterm elections. That choice had already been made, half a world away in Iraq, where the daily carnage of a failed war had stripped the GOP of its national security bona fides, leaving it politically naked. It was a choice between losing with dignity and losing in disgrace.
In 1993, mere months into the Clinton era, the new administration went to war with itself. Liberals in the Cabinet argued that the central problem of the U.S. economy was the vast middle class that was not seeing its income improve--a problem, they said, that could only be addressed through massive public investment. Moderates, including Robert Rubin, then the chairman of the National Economic Council, replied that the central problem was restoring economic growth, which could only come about by slashing the budget deficit. The moderates won.
by Cass Sunstein In the immediate aftermath of the elections, at least two Republicans have shown considerable grace: Rick Santorum and George W. Bush. Santorum's concession speech was, in its way, quite remarkable. Showing no trace of bitterness, he began by praising Bob Casey, saying that he was a fine man and that he would do a fine job for Pennsylvania.
by Eric RauchwayHere is a chart (data here) showing Democratic representation in the Congress since the New Deal; the black bar indicates the threshold for a majority. It's way too soon to say anything really meaningful about this, but here are two of my thoughts: 1. You could spin this as a narrow, non-ideological, throw-the-bums out victory.