Above all, this year's Democratic campaign stayed well short of proclaiming a far-left agenda. The party seemed to sense that this was its year, and it was broadly content to let that fact produce the indicated victory, without making any bloodthirsty claims about how it would reorganize the basic dynamics of American politics if it was elected. To reveal deeply leftist intentions now would betray these implicit assurances to the American people.
As for the Republicans, without the presidency or control of either house of Congress, they will be confined to the resources available to a Congressional minority: to object, to propose amendments (which will usually fail), and to hope for a better day. They need not feel that they somehow disgraced themselves when they were in power, and were ousted accordingly. Rather, they simply fell prey to the voters' tendency to replace the ins with the outs every now and then. They had been in control of the presidency for eight years, and people just felt it was "time for a change."
As a matter of fact, this may prove to be a particularly fruitful "seed time" for the GOP. Who are the fresh and attractive faces among the Republican governors? And who, in the House and Senate, will emerge as the party's new leaders? Already certain young members of the House are making their mark. Among them, or among the senators, may be one (or more) capable of leading the Republican party to surprising new victories in the not too distant future.
William Rusher is a Distinguished Fellow of the Claremont Institute for the Study of Statesmanship and Political Philosophy and author of How to Win Arguments .
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