Wednesday, November 03, 2004


There is much gnashing of teeth across the blogosphere (and the nation) as Senator Kerry prepares to deliver a concession speech from Boston.

At TfK headquarters, there's substantial cursing and a strong desire to drink hard liquor (not the traditional beer).

But that's that. If I let myself get too caught up in this, I'll start thinking about other new habits, like firearms, and that's a road I definitely won't travel. We lost. We lost strength in the Senate, and we didn't eke out the White House. I think there are still questions about Diebold machines in Florida and Ohio, but those will be resolved some other way.

What next?

We organize. We get a strong Minority Leader to replace the lamented but badly compromised Tom Daschle. Atrios is endorsing Dick Durbin. A friend from New York is endorsing Chuck Schumer. I've jokingly suggested Barack Obama. In truth, the best choices, in order of my current preference, would be: Tom Harkin, Dick Durbin, Joe Biden, Barbara Mikulski, and Schumer.

I think that the next leader has to be strong enough to push an agenda and stir up a fight, and those are all strong people. Harry Reid or Evan Bayh would be weak. But the next Minority Leader shouldn't necessarily be from a liberal enclave. So Durbin or Harkin would be a constant reminder that the Midwest is not all red. They could promote an agenda for the parts of the country where the social and the economic agendas of the Republicans are in conflict. That sets up a platform and a record for a Democrat to run on in four years, as well as creating a strong spokesman for House and Senate races in two.

Mikulski is on the list as a strong woman from a Southern state. I don't know that she's actually a great choice for any other reason. Boxer or Feinstein would be interesting, but since Pelosi is a Californian, we really ought to balance the leadership out.