Tim Reid of the UKTimes has an article: Meet the Blue Dogs.

Yup. Someone finally got it right.

The Republicans were arrogant, but the Progressive wing of the Democratic party was unpopular, so someone made a Rovian suggestion: Bring back the Blue dogs.

I am 10 000 miles from the US elections, so I have watched the news of the Republicans on the internet and on CNN INternational, which (most people don’t realize) has a lot of smirky Brits who are clueless to America. On the old CNN, you could see a sympathetic report on Kentucky coal miners praying at the church for their loved ones, and you’d see tears in their eyes. Not on CNN Int.

So of course, the day before the election, CNNInt was essentially saying the election was a Democratic romp–which is news. What was not news is that the “newsreaders” were ecstatic about it.
But perusing the internet, it seems that a lot of overseas papers seem to be smirking that this is a rejection of Bush, as if this was the only thing to know. And that made them happy too.

Well, for a sitting president losing control in congress is normal…nothing new about that. Midterm elections traditionally result in voting against the guy in charge. But what is bad is that too many are not bothering to notice who actually won…

Yes, Democrats, but Blue Dog, socially conservative, pro life Democrats. And if I linked to the UKTimes article, it is because this is the first article I read that noticed this.

I am an ethnic Democrat, one of those they call the Reagan Democrats. And if I support the war in Iraq it is not because I didn’t see the propaganda behind it, but because I have lived overseas for much of my life and am aware that evil does exist and that there are some very evil people running governments, and I don’t want them coming after me.

So the “hate Bush” explanation seems to be…a bit naive. Is the war going on badly? Of course. But the real question is if it is the least bad alternative….

But what people don’t realize is that this is not what “lost” the Republicans the congress.

It was the perceived arrogance of Republicans, the idea that they really didn’t care about the little guy, but only about padding their own pockets. Yes, it’s a cliche, but there were too many local stories about the local Senator or Congressman, and over and over again, this resonated with people that there needed to be a change.
But what made people vote for Democrats this year was…the candidates.

In Pennsylvania, Casey is a populist. His opponent, Santorum, looks like someone who runs a bank. Sorry, I like Santorum for his work on HIV and human rights in Africa. But I might have voted for Casey, a prolife Democrat. He’s a regular guy, and not fiscally conservative.

Webb is a war hero, and not likely to object to a war from cluelessness. I support the war, but would figure he would give reasons and solutions for his war opposition, so again I might vote for him (and yes, I have his book).

You see, voting is not just about positions. It’s about trust. If the choice is between the crook you know and a person who might be trustworthy and seems to agree with you on the issues, well, people will vote their interests.

An example of this can be found in my home state of Oklahoma, where the governor was easily reelected, but four of the five congressmen elected were Republicans.
It’s called splitting the vote.

Blindly following the party lines may be what is expected by the professionals, but at the grassroots, people are getting more sophisticated.

So once people start looking at who won, as opposed which party won, things will get interesting.

Nancy Pelosi comes across poorly on TV, so expect a different spokesman. And don’t expect a lot of Bush’s programs to be floored. You see, anyone reading the conservative blogosphere knows that Bush is no fiscal conservative. The real question is will Pelosi try to impose her progressive agenda on the newcomers, or will Bush manage to work with those who are not professional Bush haters by birth.

Another change in Democratic politics is that over half the governors also are Democrats. Ah yes. They too are more pragmatic than “progressive”.

What all this means in 2008 is that I suspect a dark horse VP will come from the governors. And expect a more honest discussion about war tactics.

It’s easy to be a backseat driver, but once you have to take responsibility, the level of discourse might improve. I hope so. Because there is no way Hillary will win if she loses the Blue dogs.

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