A Victory for Progressive ValuesMight as well knock down straw men, I guess, if they're all you can land a punch on. Nathan's argument seems to be that yeah, there are a lot of reactionary Dems who got into office this week, but what the hell, the party has never been any damn good, so this is not a step back. It's a sound argument, as far as it goes, but it doesn't explain why Nathan is so happy. And it certainly doesn't explain his "confidence" that the current mule team will "support progressive initiatives." That's quite an assertion -- based, as far as I can tell, on nothing more or less than a Kierkegaardian leap of faith.
Dems' victories are progressives' victories, and though there's still much to be done, the election was a great first step.
Let's be clear -- it wasn't just a good night for Democrats. It was a good night for progressives, and no media spin that these new elected officials are "conservatives" changes who they are. The media is always marvelling that "new" Democrats are so much more conservative than "traditional" liberal Democrats of the past -- which would surprise all the folks firehosed in the streets of the South by many Democrats of a generation ago.
There are no doubt some conservatives among the new Democrats elected but as Rick Perlstein, Ezra Klein and Chris Bowers note, many were progressive and Netroots supported and almost all were tough on core economic justice issues.
Let's remember -- those massive Democratic majorities of a generation ago were fake. In 1981, Ronald Reagan was able to control the agenda in Congress because 67 Boll Weevil Democrats essentially caucused with the GOP.... I actually am more confident in the present 228-230 Dem majority we are getting this round to support progressive initiatives than those fake-larger majorities of the past.
Now when it comes to leaps of faith, I can respect ones that have a worthy object to leap at: the Lord God Jehovah, or the communist millennium, or pick your own. But the Democratic Party?
Well, chacun a son gout.