Dogs that live in backyards full-time, and are never allowed in the house, tend to disassociate from their family members and are often under-socialized. They also don't learn to live in the house and learn house rules.
Call me a cock-eyed optimist if you will, but I couldn't help wondering how different next year's State of the Union speech will be if Democrats have a much better year than expected and not only hold the Senate but win control of the House.
Southern Democracy -- defined as entrenched regional rule -- is no more. Republicans now reign throughout most of the South. The best that Southern Democrats can hope for is restoring their party to competitive parity in a two-party system.
It may sound like a cynical summarization, but the major problem is that these Democrats are struggling with a tough choice between practicality and ideology in a pretty red region -- with each course representing an uncertain gamble.
As the current, unfolding election season demonstrates, the excitement and energy of partisan politics lies mainly in Republican campaigns in the South, while the historically-dominant Democrats mainly sit and stew in envy.
While there is a growing progressive trend supporting vetoes of radical right-wing legislation, there is a definite backlash against centrist, populist, Blue Dog-style Democrats in North Carolina and all across the South.
Net Neutrality, the First Amendment of the Internet, has come under withering attack from the Astroturf lobby -- corporate front groups that are determined to hand control of the Internet to companies like AT&T and Comcast.
This Thanksgiving, I want to thank those Democrats from moderate districts who voted to do what they thought was right for the country, even though they knew there might be negative short-term political consequences.
The Blue Dogs are right about campaign strategy in some conservative districts -- but they greatly overstate their case. Granularity is usually lost in our political narrative, and the numbers suggest subtle, diverging politics.
I've never been a huge Pelosi fan, but there's no denying the success she had as speaker, not least in keeping a rather disunited party together, and, with Republicans itching for a fight, she may just be the best person for the job.
It's a little ironic that Harry Reid's keeping his majority leader role while Pelosi's losing hers. In a very real sense, the House was punished for the sins of the Senate. The loss of Pelosi's leadership would be a victory for ugliest impulses among us.