The Charlotte Democrats: From Hopenchange to grim determination

Here and there in the hinterlands, you can see a glimpse of new Democratic thinking. Gloria Romero in California wants to reduce the power of teachers unions, and treasurer Gina Raimondo dared to rein in public pension benefits in Rhode Island. Even President Obama sometimes sounds like a reformer on education, until election years when he resorts to proposing more federal spending to hire more teachers.

But those reform voices won’t be anywhere in evidence in Charlotte, where the message will be four more years of more of the same. The main theme is to preserve the government that Democrats have expanded. Democrats made a generational bet in 2009-2010 that the country was ready to be yanked sharply to the left, and they know that nearly all of their grand ambitions will be undone if Mr. Obama loses.

Yet the liberals who dominate the party believe that if Mr. Obama wins, however narrowly, their gamble will have been a great success. They may have lost the House in 2010, and perhaps they’ll lose the Senate this year, but those can be won back…

Thus the frowning resolve to grind out a victory by whatever means possible.