Just an Electoral Blip? I Don't Think So

+ More

Will the conservative spinners please just give it up? You know who you are.

At least Charles Krauthammer has the gumption to call this a minor earthquake. But others are scrambling to minimize the takeover of the Democrats in Congress as if it were just a blip in the capital.

It was a national trend, gentlemen and ladies of the right. In every region of the country, save Tennessee for another noxious reason, the message was loud and clear.

The president and your chattering class keep talking about close elections. True. But remember that George W. Bush came to power while losing the popular vote by a half-million votes and on the backs of five Supreme Court justices. He and Dick Cheney did not carry a single large city.

Heath Shuler, an incoming member of the House from North Carolina, is the poster boy for the alibi crowd. The former pro quarterback is conservative on many issues. There is no debate on that point.

However, he beat a right-wing Republican incumbent who was true to the White House on about every vote. Don't use Shuler to hide behind this phony analysis while looking for some straw to grasp.

Another lame excuse is to cite the fragile margin for Democrat Jon Tester in Montana, the reddest of states. He beat a three-term incumbent in a state Bush carried twice by huge margins. So stop using the vote there as evidence of how close it was in the country.

Republicans don't want to talk either about the close Senate elections in 2002 in Missouri and Minnesota, which barely delivered Senate control to the GOP. Both Sens. Jim Talent, now going home, and Norm Coleman, who shouldn't be taking out any long-term loans in Washington, squeaked through.

So let's put this narrow margin myth to rest. Conservatives lost.

No one can argue that conservatism is dead. That is another matter entirely. The movement could come back in two years if it gets its act together and Democrats fail to meet their mandate.

Repeat. It was a mandate. Not a single Democratic incumbent lost. Indeed, history was made, as not a single House, Senate, or gubernatorial seat now held by the Democrats was lost. Are you listening?