CAN'T WIN FOR...

CAN'T WIN FOR WINNING. LB is right -- the conventional wisdom is shifting against the Democrats. As today's Washington Post shows (and as Sam noted), the GOP is setting up victory as merely keeping Congress in 2006. Of course, with gerrymandered districts and the natural benefits of incumbency, losing Congress is a virtual impossibility. The punditocracy, egged on by the example of 1994 -- not to mention the predictions of Newt Gingrich, Bill Kristol and a variety of other eminences from that most golden of ages -- have begun salivating for the drama and intrigue of a Democratic Revolution, but the Republican resurgence of a dozen years ago was a historical inevitability, a realignment of conservative Southern seats from a party that enjoyed their tribal loyalty but not their ideological allegiance. Those districts had long been teetering Republican, they just needed a sufficient gust of wind to push them over. Democrats enjoy no similar regional historical trend. The likeliest outcomes are moderate gains, improvements that looked impossible mere months ago, but will now be seen as yet another lackluster performance by a party unable to take advantage of its good luck.

--Ezra Klein

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