On the main site, Jim has an important article about the increasingly grim prospects for the GOP in Senate races. With each pasing day, it’s looking more and more feasible that Democrats could either gain a literal filibuster-proof majority of 60, or at least get close enough to it that it would be effectively filibuster-proof, with the only bulwark against liberal legislation nominally Republican Senators such as Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine.
But one thing that may offer a glimmer of hope is that even though Democrats are poised for another huge victory next month, by in large, they aren’t running as liberals, at least not at the presidential level, which I’ve obviously been following more closely. Barack Obama has spent his entire general election campaign actually running away from his liberal record, trying to convince Americans that he’s for lower taxes, gun rights, aggressive pursuit of terrorists (outside of Iraq), a “net spending cut,” and health care that isn’t government run.
No doubt that Obama, aided by an even more Democratic Congress, would try to push liberal legislation, but when the euphoria over campaign season “change” rhetoric has passed, and Americans actually see some details, will public outcry help to stymie any progressive agenda as it did during the Clinton years? Sure, a lot of bad stuff would get through, but how left can they go without seriously endangering their prospects in 2010? Remember, Democratic politicians may be liberal, but they’ll always be politicians first.
UPDATE: A Susan Collins defender has written in to argue that she gets a bum rap from conservatives, citing Collins’s opposition to the Farm Bill, strong opposition to card check legislation, and votes to confirm Roberts and Alito.
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