Forgive me, Cornerites, if I’ve made this comparison before: For a long time it has struck me that it’s an election that is analogous to the one coming up, in that it had more ideological consequences than ideological content. The 1986 elections ended the possibility of a conservative reformation of the federal judiciary for a generation, but looked at in retrospect it was a blip on a Republican trendline.
I took the “emerging Democratic majority” argument of John Judis and Ruy Teixeira seriously before Sept. 11, but I don’t think this election, even if goes quite well for the Democrats, is going to provide much evidence for their thesis. Most of the factors that are helping the Democrats don’t seem to be things that will outlast 2006. As Michael Crowley notes, it is comforting for conservatives to say such things. But that doesn’t mean that they’re untrue or unimportant.