"It was the moderates and independents who [elected a Democratic
majority], and they’re the voters who will decide the next election as well. If
the Democrats want to win next year they have to oppose the president's war but
not take responsibility for it. The last time the party got entranced by an
antiwar “folk hero” his name was George McGovern. He lost 49 states...."
Independent political analyst Jacqeline Salit has a different take in the last issue of the Neo-Independent "Election Analysis":
"Independents had a good year. Closer to the American people than
the major parties are, they helped voters find their anti-war voice. They showed
the neo-cons the door. They developed some grassroots organization, “ordained”
new rank and file leaders in dozens of states, attracted some quality
candidates, and won some fights to keep the independent movement multi-racial
and inclusionary. They even brought some old independents back into the game and
got them talking to one another for the first time in years...."
And let's not forget that it was the Democratic Party itself that undermined George McGovern's campaign, much as they put a quick halt to Howard Dean's popular primary candidacy in 2004.