Thursday, December 14, 2006
notes on the Democratic victory
Sorry, people, looks like the election exhausted me for a while! Hopefully I'm recharged and ready to start up again, but I won't guarantee anything. I will try to keep up with this, though.
So about the election: what a ride, eh? I have to say, we were successful way beyond my expectations. The House looked like it was ours coming in, but I really didn't think we were gonna win the Senate! Obviously, it's only a Democratic Senate pending Senator Johnson's (D-SD) recovery from what appears to be a stroke, but the victory is amazing nonetheless. I would never have guessed that Webb would win in Virginia. That's awful news for the GOP, as the Commonwealth has been trending blue for a while, but does this mean it's reached the tipping point? Virginia's already elected a Democratic governor (to succeed the last governor, who also was a Democrat) and booted a popular Senator and former governor for a Democrat that, contrary to the media narrative, is no conservative. In fact, Jim Webb is an economic populist (as in, pro-worker, anti-big business, raves against rising income inequality), which is the old conservative's bogeyman. Are Virginia's 13 electoral votes going to be in play in 2 years?
A note about the media narrative also: the big story after the election was the election of "conservative Democrats." Everyone was talking about this, from Rush Limbaugh to David Brooks to the front page of the NYT. Only the American media would be so ditzy and gullible that they would believe the right-wingers "conservative Democrat" horseshit after the election of, among others, the first Socialist senator (Bernie Sanders, I-VT)! Jim Webb rails on income inequality; Jon Tester wants to repeal the USA PATRIOT Act; Sheldon Whitehouse (the quintessential Nor'eastern liberal) defeated a Republican incumbent who was both popular and moderate; Ned Lamont won his primary over a centrist Democrat who was, again, both popular and moderate... the list goes on. This was a victory for Democrats of all stripes, but liberals/progressives were more than amply represented in the winner's circle.
And by the way, it's doubly stupid for the media to pretend like conservative Democrats are a new phenomenon. What the hell kind of Democrats do they think people have been electing in the South for the last, I dunno, century?