…both parties have moved to the right. The Republicans have shed the last vestiges of their centrist past, the Rockefeller Republican. And the Democrats have widened their tent to bring in a new crop of blue-dog conservatives.
Moreover, ballot initiatives make the claim of a major anti-conservative swing quite problematic. In Michigan, liberal Democrats swept the gubernatorial and senatorial races, yet a ballot initiative to abolish affirmative action passed 58-42. Seven out of eight anti-gay marriage amendments to state constitutions passed. And nine states passed referendums asserting individual property rights against the government’s power of eminent domain.
To muddy even more the supposed ideological significance of this election, consider who is the biggest winner of the night: Joe Lieberman. Just a few months ago, he was scorned by his party and left for dead. Now he returns to the Senate as the Democrats’ 51st seat — and holder of the balance of power. From casualty to kingmaker in three months. Not bad. His Democratic colleagues who abandoned him this summer will now treat him very well.