Dionne’s 2006 realignment, a correction, and thoughts on 2008

EJ Dionne writes in today’s WaPo about the historical implications of big Democrat wave in 2006:

and Republicans have a few opportunities of their own for Northern pickups. But winning the bulk of these Lincoln-state seats would be the linchpin of any Democratic victory.

Then he talks about the rise of the South,

The changing regional contours of American politics have been visible in the Southernization of the GOP leadership — from President Bush of Texas and Gingrich of Georgia to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee and, earlier, Dick Armey and Tom DeLay, both Texans. The rise of the Dixiepublicans and their brand of conservatism has pushed moderates in the North in the Democrats’ direction.

He fails to point out that in the House — the more conservative of the bodies — the leadership is IL (Hastert), OH (Boehner), MO (Blunt), Pryce (OH),  and NY (Reynolds). Amusingly, those are the 4 states that seriously contested for the Presidential nomination in 1860, the year that Lincoln won the nomination.

Furthermore, Consider the 3 leading candidates for GOP nomination in 2008:

  • John McCain (AZ). He is currently beating Hillary Clinton in polls all over the country, including the North.
  • Mitt Romney (MA). He’s a Michigan transplant from Massachusetts.
  • Rudy Giuliani (NY). He’s an ethnic from NYC.

And, if you consider that 2 of the 3 leading Dem candidates for President, John Edwards and Mark Warner (recall that I believe that Hillary won’t run), are southerners, it seems that, perhaps, you are dealing with a short-term blip.

This will be an important election. Just not in these ways.