Word from Kansas …
In spite of being a far left progressive whose views of the media narrative, well-skewered by your parody, is best explained by the Daily Howler, here in the midwest there is something to be said of former liberals, such as Claire McCaskill in Missouri, trying to portray themselves as centrists — whatever that means — in an effort to dodge the guns-gays-and-god bullets that are so potent here. Look at Democratic Governor Kathleen Sebelius in Kansas. Just today she picked as her Lt. Gov. running mate candidate the head of the GOP in Kansas who just switched his registration to Democratic….in Kansas!
That is on the heals of Paul Morrison, a law-and-order Republican prosecutor, becoming a Democrat a few months ago to run for Kansas Attorney General. And there are others doing the same.
What is going on? In a bright red states such as Kansas, the guns/gays/god crowd have pushed the moderates out of the Republican party and the Democrats are conscious of the need to capture the center to create a long-lasting political realignment. Various candidates approach that task in different ways. The fact that some Democratic governors, such as Schweitzer in Montana, are anti-gun control and not afraid of the “leftist base”, shows the strength of the Democratic party west of the Mississippi and east of the Sierras. The mountain west, surely, and the northern plains, possibly, are where the Democratic party will find its future leaders. Even if a few of us out here would prefer Russ Feingold, he is not going to be on the 2008 ticket. Kathleen Sebelius has a better chance of being on the national ticket than he does.
AB makes a point the inattention to which was, I think, one of the biggest problems with Goldberg’s piece. The vast majority of Democrats totally understand that Dems running in reddish states can’t have stereotypically liberal positions on hot-button social and cultural issues. I think everybody gets that. I don’t deny that there are arguments on where to draw the line. There are. Everybody, to one degree or another thinks that their issue is a little less compromisable than the trest. But, in general, no kidding. And AB’s reference to Schweitzer is a good example of that recognition. Look who his supporters are, in terms of activists and online types around the country. This is why, despite the fact that he’s often portrayed as the embodiment of the whacked-out, Bush-bashing, run-on-universal-abortion-in-Utah online left, Kos as often as not is supporting candidates who, by Goldberg’s standards, are centrists or moderates and probably disagree with Kos on several key issues.