Monday, November 1, 2010

"No Final Victories"

E.J. Dionne is a columnist I do not, shall we say, consider essential reading.  Today's column on tomorrow's election offers an opportunity for explaining why (to be clear, I don't believe he or anyone else I'm referring to in this post is an "idiot" - I just thought the picture was funny).

Dionne mostly relates a dinner conversation he had with a Democratic Member of Congress, Patrick Murphy, who relates how Democrats had thought that after the election of 2006, where they took control of Congress and 2008, where they captured the White House and got 60 votes in the Senate needed to prevent a fililbuster, they were some sort of "permanent majority" and that the Republicans would be in the wilderness for an extended period if not forever.

Such an attitude was on display at such entities as The New Republic:
What conservatives have yet to do is confront the large but inescapable truth that movement conservatism is exhausted and quite possibly dead.
The New York Times, no longer the "gray lady" or even, in fact, a shadow of its former self rejoiced after the 2008 election that conservatism was not only defeated, but even discredited.

I haven't been in Washington as long as Dionne, Sam Tenenhaus or the New York Times, but one thing I've learned is that there is no such thing as permanent victory in a democracy.  Republicans who spent and waged war more like progressive Democrats learned that.  Now Democrats are learning this all over again, as if losing control of Congress in 1994 wasn't enough.  Is 14 years really long enough time to forget what you've learned?


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