As a result of the elections, it seems that now both parties will be involved in respective internal tugs of war. This is perhaps a refreshing departure from what the Democratic answer to Karl Rove, a man by the name of Rahm Emmanuel, calls “the politics of polarization”. Rather than bitter partisanship between two diametrically opposed parties, it seems that we have entered a new era of American politics which may be characterized by internal party civil wars.
Among other issues, Republicans have to internally debate the issue of immigration reform and Democrats, for their part, will have to sort out just how far left and “progressive” their own party is. As I have previously pointed out, many of the Democrats who won last Tuesday in the closest races are not of the far left liberal progressive ilk. Many consider themselves to be "moderates" if not conservatives, which results in a blurring of the lines that usually can be relied upon to distinguish between members of each party. For example, former Republican Jim Webb, who defeated George Allen, is more of a conservative than the liberal Lincoln Chaffe who ended up being punished for being a member of a party of which he rarely holds the same opinion with.
It will be more illuminating, and in the end more productive, for each party to conduct these internal debates than it ever was to launch vitriolic attacks against the opposing side of the aisle and never arriving at a party platform.
Enter the lovely Kirsten Powers, a Democratic strategist who seems to understand that the modern day electorate prefers a more reasonable, less far left leaning Democratic Party. On her blog, she defends Joe Lieberman against elements of her own party who discarded him for essentially wanting to fight a more pro-active war on terror. And on election night, she pointed out that many of the Democrats who won in close races are considered “blue dog” Democrats who are essentially conservatives that refer to themselves as Democrats for various reasons. It is people like Powers that may yet save the viability of the Democratic Party by, among other things, making the point that there is room in the Democratic Party for those who advocate an aggressive and pro-active war on terror. I encourage you to peruse her writings @ Powers Point.