Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Election Observations

Both winners and losers tend to overanalyze the meaning of a victory or a loss. So, I'm not going to harp on it too much here. So, just some general observations:

There is yet hope for our democracy. As David Brock said this morning, voters saw above the "din of Republican misinformation" in this election cycle. Something that they did not do 2 years ago. They saw past it so much that they pretty much suspected political jockeying in everything that happened (whether it was true or not). For example, the Saddam verdict and gas prices falling in the last month or so.

Watching CNN's coverage of the elections, I observed that Bill Bennett is a blowhard apologist for another blowhard apologist, Rick Santorum. I just about puked when he talked about how much of a "great American" Rick Santorum was. Bill Bennett, that paragon of virtue, opined on how graciously Santorum ran his campaign. Bill Bennett, who tells us how to live a virtuous life while he loses millions in gambling. Meanwhile, Rick Santorum, utterer of these gems the last few years:

"I have no problem with homosexuality. I have a problem with homosexual acts."

"Isn't that the ultimate homeland security, standing up and defending marriage?"

"Thirty-two years after the legalization of abortion by the Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, the majority of Americans consider themselves pro-life."

tries to tell the rest of the country what a "family" is and what women should do with their bodies. The rest of the country responded:
... strident image sinks Santorum

South Dakota Rejects Abortion Ban

Stem-cell research finds a home in Missouri

Anti-gay marriage measure loses in Arizona

While the shift in Congress and the Senate owes a lot to a rebuke of Bush and the Iraq war, a lot of these local races and measures says more about common Americans pushing back against the bigoted, narrow-minded agenda of the Religious Right. And perhaps even a push back by some evangelicals who have realized that the teaching of Christ don't promote war and lying and ignoring the disadvantaged. A lot of Christians saw a scary side of Bush in the aftermath of Katrina. A suprising amount of evangelicals supported Democratic candidates in this election.

Meanwhile, on MSNBC, for some reason, somebody chose to give Tom DeLay some airtime. When faced with the obviousnous of the Democratic win, DeLay commented that Republicans should purposely try to gridlock Congress. Quite the promoter of democracy that guy is. Someone needs to tell him that his 15 minutes are over.

Living in a conservative state, I'm frequently disappointed by my neighbors, but I was heartened that they gave us a few more Democratic congressmen, defeated the anti-gay measure, raised the minimum wage, and re-elected our great Democratic governor, Janet Napolitano.

We peered into the abyss and thankfully took pause and then stepped back. Now, let's get some stuff done -- raise the minimum wage nationally, fix health-care, have meaningful corruption reform, and get our troops home.

For some great commentary on the elections (and Rumsfeld), please check out:

GWB's So... Who are the BIGGEST winners and losers?

Laura's Bye-Bye Santorum!

Jewish Atheist's Whoo-hooo!!!

Isabella's Thank you America!

Shawn's I wonder

"I know nothing grander, better exercise, better digestion, more positive proof of the past, the triumphant result of faith in human kind, than a well-contested American national election" -- Walt Whitman


Laura said...

Can I just say I'm sick of these MoveOn emails that say "Mission Accomplished"? If they truly think that the election itself is the mission, then we're all screwed...

dbackdad said...

Yep, I've gotten the same ones. I had assumed the same thing but I read down to the bottom and saw,

"It'd be easy to get too satisfied with the moment we're in. We've helped win a landslide election, but we haven't yet gotten one more person health care, powered one more car with clean energy—or brought one soldier back from Iraq (though Rumsfeld's resignation today is good news).

We've got a lot to do. We'll have to make sure Democrats truly fight for the voters who elected them. And the Republicans have left us with a big mess to clean up—here at home and around the world.

For today ... let's celebrate. ...Then, let's roll up our sleeves, and get to work making this country live up to the promise of America."

So, I think they have the right idea. They're just take a breath before proceeding.

Scott said...

I know I'm the only one that gets terrified when I see polititians saying "let's roll up our sleeves, and get to work."

dbackdad said...

Depends on the politicians.

Laura said...

Ah, see I didn't even open them I was just rolling my eyes at them. It's good that they're not pulling a Georgie and actually saying "mission accomplished" already...