Jacob Weisberg has a useful column up at at Slate on how last night’s Democratic win represents the rise of the Lou Dobbs Democrats — economist nationalists against free trade, globalization, and immigration policy — which isn’t exactly a good thing:
Many of the Democrats who recaptured seats held by Republicans have been described as moderates or social conservatives, who will be out of synch with Speaker-to-be Nancy Pelosi. The better term, with props to Fareed Zakaria, is probably illiberal Democrats. Most of those who reclaimed Republican seats ran hard against free trade, globalization, and any sort of moderate immigration policy. That these Democrats won makes it likely that others will take up their reactionary call. Some of the newcomers may even be foolish enough to try to govern on the basis of their misguided theory.
As Weisberg says, this is bad for Doha, and likely bad for fans of free trade. One way of reading the global markets’ negative reaction to the gains isn’t that investors are anti-Democrat (although that may be true too), but that they see this as ushering in new era of protectionism.