Lo and behold, it looks like the Democrats in Washington do know how to moderate themselves. They realize that in order to win elections (including the upcoming 2008 presidential contest), you have to aim for the middle. This was something I think Republicans, including the president, forgot. They have two years to re-educate themselves.
Now maybe all the Republicans who worked themselves up into a lather over the idea of ultra-liberals in control (or out of control?) will be proved right eventually, but it's not looking promising at this point. Today the bipartisan Iraq study group did not advocate "cut & run". And the NY Times ran a piece about how liberal black lawmakers realize that even if their seats wouldn't be jeopardized with too liberal lawmaking, there are moderate Democrats that just got elected who could be shown the door in 2008.
like other leaders of the larger Democratic caucus, the black lawmakers are being cautioned to be mindful of a broader audience that includes voters in Republican-leaning swing districts, where those initiatives can be politically perilous.
“It’s going to be a delicate balance for the chairmen,” said Representative Melvin Watt, the North Carolina Democrat who is chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus. “They want to be progressive in their agenda, but they don’t want the public to react negatively to what they are doing, because they know you are leading up to a 2008 presidential election.”
[Representative Charles B.] Rangel [said] he was conscious that as Ways and Means chairman he would be accountable to a different constituency, including what he called “wannabe Democrats” — moderate freshman elected in Republican-leaning districts.