THE FUTURE OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY – AT 11:21 A.M. ET: The liberal Democrats went wild in Congress during the past session, but it was moderate Democrats who paid the price. From The Hill:
Only 12 House Democrats out of the 40 who represent districts won by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in 2008 survived the November election.
The good news: This group of mostly Blue Dog Dems made it through one of the worst national environments for Democrats in years, which bodes well for their 2012 prospects.
The downside: Several of them will be targets again, particularly Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), who defeated Republican challenger Jesse Kelly by a little more than 4,000 votes.
Between retirements, runs for higher office, a primary defeat and one sex scandal (New York Rep. Eric Massa), another eight Democrats in conservative-leaning districts didn't run for reelection in 2010. Republicans went eight for eight in those open seat races.
A ninth opted for a party switch, which didn't work out any better — Rep. Parker Griffith (R-Ala.) lost a GOP primary after defecting from the Democrats.
Bottom line: The liberals, who tend to come from safe districts, will pay no price for their recklessness. The Democratic Party, in fact, has become more liberal as a result of the election. And what is remarkable is that no prominent liberal has expressed any concern over the devastation in the moderate wing. Political purity seems to be the goal, and political purity is what they got.
Oh, by the way, that also cost them the House of Representatives.
December 30, 2010