Don’t forget to check out C-SPAN this morning to see our post-election press briefing.
We’ll be posting more thoughts in this space in the days and months to come, but there was an interesting piece entitled, “Triumph of the Near Republicans” in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal’s Opinion Journal by Kimberley Strassel. Unfortunately we don’t have a link to give you, but her point was one that’s been made frequently around the blogosphere of late, i.e., that many of the Democrats who saw victory yesterday were running as near-Republicans.
Ed Morrissey made the point a week or so ago in The Examiner in a piece called, “Have Reagan’s conservatives won the revolution?” To be sure, we have lived through many revolutions in this city over the last several decades, but few bring anything really revolutionary. Reagan’s revolution did, moving the center of the political debate substantially — and maybe irreversibly — to the right. In so doing, he cemented in the public consciousness the bankruptcy of the liberal ideology. It is a testament to the completeness of Reagan’s victory in this regard that the word “liberal” has been abandoned by liberals themselves in favor of the Madison Avenue new-and-improved term, “progressive.”
Reagan’s legacy lives today. All you have to do is to put the most recent Democrat’s agendas in the context of the early 80’s and Reagan’s ascendancy. Suffice it to say that there weren’t many running on a platform of smaller government. Yet, Democratic Senate candidates in Tennessee, Montana and Pennsylvania in 2006 embraced not only fiscal but also conservative social themes. Brad Ellsworth, the Democrat who is the apparent winner over Rep. John Hostetler in Indiana even signed the Americans for Tax Reform anti-tax pledge. There weren’t many Dems rushing to do that before Reagan’s revolution.
So as the election returns come in, as elections are contested and allegations of election fraud are raised and settled, as the post-mortems begin, we do well to remember the enormous impact that Reagan had on today’s political landscape. Eighteen years after leaving the Presidency, Ronald Reagan keeps winning elections.
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