The Moose celebrates the rise of the middle.
Across the board, the election has been correctly interpreted as the revenge of the center. The immoderate moderates smote the elephants because they have displayed incompetent incompetence and acted as dividers and not uniters. After the red-state blue-state divide, this year the voters were in a furious state.
Both parties are on probation with the electorate. Republicans were fired and Democrats were hired. But, unless they deliver for the vital center, their tenure could be brief.
Liberal commentator E. J. Dionne put it well today,
"...many of the party's successful candidates ran as moderates, and Democrats hold power on the basis of a loan of votes from middle-of-the-road Americans who simply could not stomach Bush Republicanism anymore. The loan can be recalled at any moment."
And conservative commentator David Brooks nailed to the door in the Times,
"Well, somebody’s been on steroids, because on Tuesday the muscular middle took control of America. Say goodbye to the era of Rovian base mobilization. Say goodbye to the era of conservative dominance that began in 1980. On Tuesday, 47 percent of the voters were self-described moderates, according to exit polls, and they asserted their power by voting for the Democrats in landslide proportions."
Perhaps the President's greatest mistake was to fail to forge a new politics after 9/11 and unite the country for the long haul in the war against terror. Instead, in the 2002 midterms, he chose the Rovian politics of the base - and in 2006 that polarizing model cost Republicans control over Congress.
Democrats should not make the same mistake. That means actually working with the White House to achieve big things such as comprehensive immigration reform, energy independence and expansion of the military.
Democrats are no longer just an opposition party. Soon they will control the Legislative Branch. That means that they, unlike the Bush Administration, must have an occupation plan. Progress must be stressed over partisanship. Democrats must make alliances with Republicans to pass legislation to send to the President.
Ideologues of the right and the left take note - the center is inflamed and will not be denied. The immoderate moderates are not wedded to either party. They reward and punish regardless of party affiliation.
Hopefully, the two parties will begin getting their acts together. If not, there is always the Bull Moose! --