Tuesday's big winner: an honest economic argument
The truth is that the big winner on Tuesday wasn't Rahm Emanuel or any of the single-issue groups that are claiming to have turned the election. Tuesday's big winner was an honest economic argument.
Advocates of higher minimum wages and those who are routinely dismissed as wild-eyed "anti-globalization" freaks were vindicated in a big, big way on Tuesday.
Yesterday I caught a conference call with a bunch of Congressional winners including Democrat Heath Shuler, who has quite the Southern drawl and who picked up one of those Southern House seats everyone's been squabbling about lately. Shuler said that "without a doubt" trade was "the issue, the hot button issue in every corner of the district." He added: "Every single stump speech began and ended with a discussion of fair trade and every commercial we ran focused on working American families."
There's more than just anecdotal evidence that this is a winning strategy: there was an almost perfect correlation between calling bullshit on the bipartisan trade consensus of the Bush (and Clinton) administration(s) and winning, regardless of party or region. Consider this analysis put out yesterday by Public Citizen (PDF):