New Democrats: listening to the middle third
I'm encouraged by the following:
The complexion of the Democratic presence in Congress will change...Party politics will be shaped by the resurgence of ``Blue Dog'' Democrats, who come mainly from the South and from rural districts in the Midwest and often vote like Republicans. Top Democrats such as Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., see these middle-of-the-road Democrats as the future of the party in a nation that leans slightly right of center.
I'm in the center myself. And I'm for parties that don't ignore the Law of Thirds.
What's the Law of Thirds? Take a look here. It still holds, I believe, and I'm glad of it:
Basically, my law refers to the fact that the populace of the US seems to be divided roughly into thirds, at least in the political sense: one-third on the entrenched left, one-third on the entrenched right, and one-third in between. It was something I'd noticed over and over in public opinion polls, and it seemed to be stable over time.
You all know where I stand--in that middle third. I think it's actually where I've always stood, although I used to be positioned towards the leftish end of that middle, and now I stand pretty much in the very middle of that middle. It's from this moderate middle third that elections are generally decided...
And here's my warning to those on either side who ignore that all-important middle third:
Those who are considerably to the right or left often seem to have another thing in common: when their party happens to get into power, they believe it means that the Law of Thirds has been repealed, just for them. It hasn't. As far as I know it's still in operation, and has been for quite some time. Anyone from either radical third who thinks the American people will be happy to give his/her third a permanent ascendance in American political life is quite wrong, IMHO, and that person will be soundly rejected by said American people if he/she arrogantly and openly displays the hubris of thinking so--whether that person's name be Howard Dean or Newt Gingrich or whomever else would be an even better example of the genre.
So the battle for the soul of the Democratic Party begins. Or continues.
One more thing: I'm heartened by the re-election of Lieberman and the defeat of Lamont in Connecticut. It's a signal from that middle third; let's hope the Democrats heed it.