HERE WE GO AGAIN.

HERE WE GO AGAIN. I just heard Joe Scarborough on MSNBC, after he and Tucker Carlson and Norah O'Donnell clucked about how Jim Webb and Bob Casey Jr. and Harold Ford prove that Democrats are winning by running as conservatives, claim that �Democrats have come a long way since they prevented Bob Casey from speaking at their 1992 conventions ... and they�re gonna win because of it.�

What�s coming our way is a narrative suggesting that Democrats won by acting like centrists or �Republican-lite� candidates. This is absurd. Dennis Yedwab of Media Matters for America has collected data on the Democratic candidates in the top 58 House races (which includes a lot of red states and/or red districts). How many of the 58 are self-described "pro-life"? Nine. How many oppose embryonic stem cell research or support privatization of Social Security or oppose raising the minimum wage. None, none and none again. A pack of Zell Millers this is not.

Yet the national chattering class -- arguing from anecdote and preferring man-bites-dog stories that elevate the exception over the rule -- will blithely continue to perpetuate the bogus narrative that Dems won by acting like conservatives. One needs only to look at where those Republicans are poised to lose to see that this is false. Across the Rust Belt, chock full of Ford- and Rockefeller-style Republicans, is where the GOP losses will come, not in the conservative South. Indeed, there are three Democrats named Murphy alone who are running in suburban Northeastern districts to the left of three of the most moderate Republicans in the Congress, according to their National Journal vote ratings. Two of the three Dropkick Murphys (Chris, CT-5; Lois, PA-6) are leading and the third (Patrick Murphy, PA-8) is within one point, according to Pollster.com.

The fact is that, if all the prognosticators are correct, the House in 110th Congress will witness the replacement of the Republican moderates who followed along with Bush-style, hard-right politics -- and deserve their fate almost as much as the conservatives who led them to their slaughter -- with progressive Democrats. And that means the new Democratic majority will be more progressive as it expands, and the remaining Republican minority will become more conservative as it shrinks. That will also be true in the Senate, whether Harry Reid gets his coveted sixth seat or not.

--Tom Schaller

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