The answer to the question posed at the end of the last blog posting is: money.
That Chicago Tribune article on Rahm Emanuel explains Emanuel’s approach for picking the 50 Democratic challengers for the midterm elections earlier this month: “[Emanuel] had one criterion: people who could win.” What did Emanuel think was the most important attribute of a winning candidate? The article is unambiguous:
Emanuel and his staff judged a candidate almost entirely by how much money he or she brought in. If the candidate proved a good fundraiser, the DCCC [Democratic Party national committee] would provide support, advertising and strategic advice. If not, the committee would shut him or her out.
So there you have it. There’s your answer to the meaning of the great Democratic victory of 2006. The cynical Republicans of 1994 led by Newt Gingrich spoke of a “Contract with America” which included substantive terms upon which the hypocritical Republicans of 2006 were nicely skewered.
But that was 1994 when politicians still thought that they had to stand for something. This is 2006. And in 2006, Rahm Emanuel didn’t so much as even bother with a “contract” or “substance”. Instead, he cut right to the chase: In America, it’s all about the money.
When you see that, then the conflicting news and political opinion that has followed in the wake of the Democratic triumph of 2006 becomes clear. Following that Democratic victory, all sides attempted to explain it. For example, conservatives argued that the midterms were a repudiation of George Bush, but not of conservatism. They point to winning Democratic challengers who espouse traditionally conservatve positions.
For another example, I read a liberal op-ed in the New York Times over the past month claiming that the Democratic triumph represented a victory for economic populism (ie. pro-labor). Again, the article pointed to populist-leaning winning Democratic challengers.
The point here is that anyone who cares to look at the winning challengers can find in those challengers whatever issue he or she is seeking and holds dear to heart. This is because those winning challengers were not selected on the basis of any substantive issues. Accordingly, amongst all of them, odds are that most every position on most every issue of importance to this country can be found.
So there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. Here is your Democratic class of 2006: a random collection of Americans the only common thread among them being that each knows how to make a buck.
Is it just me or does anyone else think that this beautiful nation is f&*ked up beyond all recognition? (Excuse me while I go check on our gold investment.)