A Politico article hailing renewed Democratic embrace of moderation cites Former Sen. Evan Bayh’s (D-Ind.) belief that “Democrats might have kept control of the House if they pursued a more moderate course during President Barack Obama’s first two years in office.It is not quite a revolutionary thought, but offers a footnote perspective to our Connelly reading which discusses the choice which House Democrats made in 2002 between Nancy Pelosi and Martin Frost for Minority Leader. They stuck with Pelosi’s more liberal route to distinguish themselves from Republicans and offer a positive agenda, renewing the commitment upon gaining the majority. At least it worked for eight years.
It is also interesting to note that Democrats are not the only ones shifting a step right. My own Congresswoman, Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) worked hard in a moderately Democratic district the entire election to be cast as a moderate Republican. She avoided Tea Party rallies and candidates. I was surprised to see her seated next to Michelle Bachmann at the SOU address and identified by national news sources as a Tea Party Republican--something I doubt her office would encourage in my local papers.