Wednesday, November 08, 2006


So, we won!

And in response to those who would say that the Democrats took back the House (and maybe the Senate) by pretending to be Republicans, I would reply... yes, in some cases, but no in many more.

Democrats won in rural states by putting the language of class back into their campaigns. As Bob Moser writes for The Nation in The New Southern Strategy, candidates like Webb and McCaskill surged ahead not by becoming pro-life or bashing gays (they refused to do either) but by fighting for "working families" and campaigning hard in areas that suburban Democrats had turned their noses up at.

If the Democrats lost the South over race, they can win it back by transcending race like the best of the Southern Populists did at the beginning of the twentieth century, when banks and big landowners were recognized as the common enemy of decent laboring people, whatever their skin color.

But this will require our constant attention; we can't let the Democrats stray once in office. No more bankruptcy bills or wishy-washiness on health care.


danfbflynn said...

Interesting idea -- really, I don't think you're wrong, but it seems hard to imagine that the Southern white male will be a reliably Democratic voter anytime in the near future. The narrative of class exploitation isn't as compelling as it once was, given our celebrity- and wealth-worshipping culture. People can't hate on the rich and admire them at the same time. Right?

Manfred said...

Yeah, and "class" is in for some revisions in the 21st century. You're right, I think, that one can't rally around the same things as before.

Then there's Mark Warner's comments that Democrats shouldn't be so tough about raising taxes on the rich because everyone wants to become rich someday.

Good point.