Together, the reelection of Bachmann and defeat of Burner mark a startling defeat for the 2008 netroots campaigns of Daily Kos, Firedoglake, Open Left, and their "Blue America" coalition of Internet activists (see also Memeorandum).
After Bachmann appeared on MSNBC's "Hardball with Chris Matthews" in October, where she questioned Barack Obama's patriotism, the big blogs on the left raised close to a $2 million for Bachmann's challenger, El Tinkleberg. Leftists charged Bachmann with "McCarthyism" after she recommended the media look into the degree of anti-Americanism in Congress. While the left was outraged, Bachmann's comments were met sympathetically from her constituents, who said she had no need for apologies. The following comment, in response to some of the angry commenters at the Wall Street Journal, is also telling:
Come on ... let’s be sensible here. Michelle was baited over and over into those questions by Chris Matthews anyone who isn’t a blind partisan could see that and I have watched that interview 4 times to be sure she wasn’t being outright hateful.Now, Darcy Burner's case is in some ways an even more striking repudiation of the hardcore netroots left than is Bachmann victory.
She is a good woman and will get the job done ...
One of Burner's biggest assets to the left was her leadership in proposing a widely distributed plan for an immediate U.S. withdrawal from Iraq.
Called "A Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq," the proposal was anything but. The plan called for a complete U.S. military withdrawal from Iraq at precisely the same time that the Bush administration offered a new strategy for victory under the counterinsurgency doctrine of General David Petraeus. Like Barack Obama, Burner wanted to throw in the towel - capitulating to and enabling our terrorist enemies - after the U.S. government had in fact shifted to a new military doctrine that was based on some of the very criticisms the left leveled at the administration earlier in the war (not enough troops going in, poor doctrinal foundations for victory, etc).
But more than this, Burner's what the netroots call "the quintessential Blue America candidate," which is to say, her issue positions are representative of the brooding Bush derangement which is the hallmark of the radical left contigents.
Now, there's a lot of triumphalism on the left following Tuesday's results, for example, in Dave Neiwart's claim of a sweeping repudiation of conservatism in the United States:
No, this election was about one thing primarily: a sweeping repudiation of movement conservatism.Actually, as I noted last night, Barack Obama's margin of victory - in both the Electoral College and the popular vote - was less-than-middling by historical standards.
The breadth and depth of Democrats' victory was a loud shout from the American public: We have had enough of this crap.
A slight majority of Americans nationwide voted for the change represented in Barack Obama's historic candidacy. But to argue for a sweeping repudiation of conservativism is innacurate. If any candidate should have been "sweepingly repudiated" as a "movement conservative," it's Michele Bachmann (who's frequently slurred on the left as a rightwing extremist of the "lunatic fringe"), who won reelection even after the RNCC caved to pressure from the PC attack dogs on the left.
So, Bachmann's win, and Burner's loss, combined with other indicators, like the decisive defeat of same-sex marriage at the polls across the country, reveals both the limits of left's ideological electoral program, as well as the strong basis for a conservative revival as early as 2010.