The (liberal) Girl Next Door answers:
The debate rages within the Democratic Party about whether or not the numbers matter more than the ideology. I understand the value in taking a pragmatic approach, especially considering that taking control of the Senate means Democrats will be chairing committees, able to bring important legislation to the floor that has been sitting dormant for the past five years and finally have the subpoena power that will allow them to really investigate the Bush administration and GOP corruption. That’s a pretty powerful motivator for sending even moderate and conservative Democrats back to the Senate, although I remain unconvinced that it’s the best long-term strategy for the Party.
I have stated in the past that I would rather lose by a large margin with a candidate that actually represents the ideals I believe in, than lose by a slim margin with a merely adequate one. But the climate has changed and it’s no longer a choice between losing and losing badly, now there is actually a chance to win. I’m not sure that the new math changes my opinion, but the possibility of a tourniquet made of an adequate majority is becoming harder and harder to resist. But with Senate incumbents enjoying a reelection rate of around 80% (and it’s even higher in the House), we better be ready to live with these barely adequate, anti-choice Democrats for years and years to come. A tourniquet will stop the bleeding, but it certainly won’t solve the problem.
Howie opinion: I think she is saying she’ll take a Democratic senate, even if it includes the likes of Maria Cantwell.(Since I wrote this, she has told me, “yes, I am saying that.”) I didn’t ask if this position also applies to Senator Lieberman. For me, that’s a line I’m not crossing.