November 14, 2006
After the 1994 elections when republicans won a Congressional majority for the first time in 40 years, conservative groups rejoiced. They believed they had a mandate to radically alter the political landscape. They were able to make a few alterations – lower taxes and some good judges. But theirs was not a revolution.
Now with last week’s election victory by democrats, liberal activist groups are behaving the same way republicans did twelve years ago. The lefties are demanding immediate action on abortion, gun control and Iraq. But democratic party leaders worry if they start behaving like far left liberals, republicans will make political capital by calling them big spenders, soft on terrorism and having San Francisco values. They fear that all of those moderate and conservative democrats recently elected might join with the conservative republicans and make the democratic leadership look foolish and weak.
Will the democrats give in to their far-left wing or behave responsibly? Will they behave pragmatically, or politically? It is the first test of the democratic leadership which has hinted it won’t lead from the left. We’ll see.
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.