DON'T FORGET THE GREENS.Rick Perlstein's piece from Friday is right to caution that just because Democrats squeaked out a victory in the midterms, progressives should not ignore or forget the fact that Republican chicanery very nearly turned the tide the other way -- and that it might do so the next time.
POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: POOR INITIATIVE.Ben "Badler" Adlernotes one dog that didn't bark on Tuesday -- the supposed political potency and spill-off effects of state anti-gay marriage initiatives across the country.
PRIMARIES: HELPFUL.The lad is correct here. (Good on you, lad!) And Exhibit A for the plaintiff comes from Massachusetts this year in which rookie Deval Patrick was forced to run against an establishment Democratic candidate (Attorney General Tom Reilly) who'd already won several statewide races, and Chris Gabrieli, a progressive sort with more money than God.
MURTHA PUSHBACK. I have some real ambivalence about this leadership race, but I do take issue with Rob and Blake. On Blake's point about John Murtha's personal history of pork-barrelling and helping out family members, I have to confess that I rank such petty corruption issues way, way, way down on my list of things worth caring about. If one were to determine that the outcomes of a Murtha-led caucus would be seriously preferable to a Hoyer-led one to even a small degree, I find such issues vanishingly insignificant.
LEFT AND CENTER. Adding to whatMatt and Blake have already written, I've long been curious as to precisely how a centrist Vermont governor became the voice of the Left in the United States. Although Dean's non-Iraq policy preferences don't place him as far right in the Democratic spectrum as Jack Murtha, they did leave him comfortably to the right of the establishment candidate of the Democratic Party in 2004.
THE "WRONG" CANDIDATES.Michael Tomasky yesterday delivered an eloquent version of the challenge to the conventional wisdom that Democrats won the House by running conservative candidates. He's right, of course, although as I argued, the perception that the Democratic Party has moved a bit toward the center is not harmful, even if it just reaffirms the reality that this is and has long been a center-left party.
NO TO MURTHA. Let me add to Matt Yglesias' doubts about the wisdom of choosing Jack Murtha as House Majority Leader. Forget about left/right: just like Pelosi, the guy is representing his district, where he is wildly popular. He's got two major problems, from my perspective. One: pork. The guy believes his job is to get as much bacon for his district as possible, whether it makes sense or not. That's why Indiana University of Pennsylvania hosts the John P. Murtha Institute for Homeland Security.
THE TROUBLE WITH THE SENATE. A few days back, Brad Plumerhighlighted this excerpt from a New York Timespiece on Iraq oversight; he was focusing on something else in the excerpt, but my attention turned to the mention of Jay Rockefeller: