DC Media Still Terrified by the Prospect of Progressive Leadership
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I've said it before and I'll say it again: for the past fifteen years we've seen the Republicans act like a bunch of crazed Visigoths sacking Rome and David Broder uttered nary a peep of protest. Now that they've worn themselves out and are fat and tired from slurping at the public trough, the Democrats are called in to clean up their mess. And still, although they suddenly decry "ideological extremism" it's quite clear that for people like David Broder, the marauding VisiGOP is far less terrifying than the prospect of a progressive majority:
As significant as the numerical potential is the changing character of the new senators who may arrive in this election. They could be welcome news for either a President Obama or a President McCain, because the likeliest winners mainly are centrists who have been tested in real-world politics and have little tolerance for ideological extremes.
Two of the top five Democratic prospects are people who have been governors of conservative states. Sununu is in a rematch with former New Hampshire governor Jeanne Shaheen, who dealt with a Republican legislature throughout her tenure in Concord and -- to the disappointment of some Democrats -- managed to avoid a new broad-based tax to finance the schools.
The other former governor is Mark Warner of Virginia, favored to succeed retiring Sen. John Warner (no relation). Mark Warner, a millionaire businessman, also shared his capital with a Republican legislature and learned in his four years a wealth of practical wisdom about negotiating compromises.
That description also fits Mark Begich, the mayor of Anchorage, who is likely to be the Democratic nominee for Stevens's seat. Like most mayors of both parties, whatever the size of their cities, he has been held accountable by his constituents for the most basic needs.
I'm not putting down any of those candidates. I'm sure they are all fine people. But Broder's point speaks to one thing alone --- even if the conservatives run our country into the ground they must always be allowed at least equal say in our governance because to do otherwise would let progressives and liberals call the shots --- and we can't have that.