Wednesday, December 07, 2005

While I don't agree with much the Democrats have to offer (on any subject), I think the idea that they're going to suffer at the polls for their anti-war views is a tad overblown...

First, remember Tip O'Neill's admonition that "all politics is local'. House races will likely be determined on whether voters in each district think 'their' guy or gal is doing a good job. In most cases, this will be based on the amount of federal dollars flowing into those districts: the more money coming in, the more likely the incumbent keeps their job.

Second, not all of the Democrats are engaging in anti-war rhetoric. Most, if not all, of those who are come from districts in which they mirror their constituent's views on the war (or is it the other way around?). There's no chance that San Francisco-area voters are going to throw out Nancy Pelosi because she is anti-war (she'd have a better chance of losing her seat if she was pro-war). And those Democrats who come from less-left districts can easily distance themselves from the rhetoric of their hard-left colleagues.

Third, as blogging colleagues such as Xrlq have argued, in posts on California's recently defeated initiative to revamp districting, the fact that Congressional districts were designed to protect the incumbent party will insulate incumbent Democrats from being defeated by their GOP challengers. After all, what's the likelihood that a Democratic district is going to throw out an anti-war Democrat - or even a Democrat who's silent on the subject - in favor of a pro-war Republican? Heck, what's the chance of any Republican winning in a Democrat-majority district?

Fourth, those in the GOP who think voters are just clamoring to punish the Democrats for their 'anti-war' stance are just as delusional as those Democrats who thought that the voters were just waiting to toss "Bush-lied" out on the street... or those Republicans who thought the voters were going to send Bill Clinton a big message in the 1996 and 1998 elections. The fact of the matter is that most American voters could care less about any particular issue that Inside The Beltway types find so engrossing. Washington types (of which bloggers, unfortunately, are a definite subset) always think the voters care about the same issues as they do... and as passionately as they do. But they don't.