A few things to remember….
In 1992, Bill Clinton was elected President ending 12 years of Republican domination of the White House. Once in office, President Clinton ran to the left. The result was the 1994 election which ushered the GOP in control of the Congress for the first time in nearly 50 years.
In 1994, congressional Republicans, giddy at having won control of the Legislative Branch, ran hard against President Clinton leading to a government shutdown in 1995. The result was derailing the Republican revolution and stregthening President Clinton who easily won re-election in 1996.
In 2004, President Bush won over Democratic candidate John Kerry, by three percentage points. Having acutally won the popular vote this time around, he embarked on an agenda of reforming Social Security and staying the course with his Iraq policy. The result was the end of 12 years of Repblican control of Congress.
The is a lesson here. In each of these instances, the winners misread the election. They saw their wins as mandates from the people to do what they want. They refused to see that the vote was less a vote for them than a vote against their opponent.
As the Democrats get ready to take over Congress, they need to realize that this win is not necessarliy a validation of the party. The Republicans had messed up royally and the public was in, to paraphrase the President, in a “thumping” mood.
The Dems need to govern with some modesty and not listen to those who want the gloves to come off. Work with the President on things like Immigration Reform and try to find a way to get out of Iraq gracefully. Dems should not take this win as some kind of mandate. Politicians are hired by the American people and can be easily fired too.
In short my Democratic friends: don’t let this win go to your collective heads.