Off to the Races... Again
So you can imagine what life was like here Election night-- constant checking of various sites, talking with friends, and the like. It was definitely an improvement over 2000, 2002, and 2004. *grin*
While I wouldn't characterize the Dem's win as a sea change, I wouldn't exactly buy into the "normality" of the election cycle. Yes, the midterm election in a President's sixth year (assuming they serve two terms) tends to favor the opposition party, and there have been elections that were far more devastating (the 1958 election for example, when the Republicans lost 48 seats in the House, and 13 in the Senate), but I think it was very clear the public wasn't buying the hogwash coming out of the White House. If anything, support for the Iraq war has dropped substantially over the years, and it's pretty clear to me and to anyone with half a brain (and yes, there are quite a few people in this country with no minds at all) that most folks want out of the Middle East.
Corruption definitely played a part: Masturgate was recently followed by the Holier-Than-Thou's having a scandal of their own, thanks to "Pastor Ted," who has since been disavowed by such Holier-Than-Thous as Lou Sheldon, who curiously admitted that he and others had known about Ted's *ahem* personal life for some time now. So far it doesn't seem like there's going to be the same uproar about this concealed information as it was for Foley and his House buddies like Hastert and Reynolds (both of whom were re-elected-- Hastert's return was expected, but I'm disappointed the folks in Buffalo didn't see fit to toss Reynolds out on his ass-- guess the annual lake-effect snows froze their mental processes permanently...). This was all in addition to Abramoff, which definitely had a pronounced effect on such folks as Bob Ney, and here in California, Richard Pombo.
This last is a stunner I'm personally happy to have happened-- Jerry McNerney won in an upset over Pombo, and turned out one of the most stridently anti-environmental politicians I've ever known. In one particular instance, Pombo wanted to sell off 15 national parks; the resulting outrage prompted his staff to say it was all a "joke." (yeah, right)
Har har har. I don't particularly find it funny. Our parks are lands that should be held in stewardship permanently, not auctioned off to corporate interests. He wasn't a big supporter of the environment in many other ways, so I'm very happy to see him sent packing.
Regardless of the outcome of this election though, I think the Dem's hold on the Senate is precarious, at best, and I'm not holding my breath for a lot of change to be effected in the coming two years. What I'm hoping for is some renewed common sense, and some checks and balances (finally!) on Smirk's agenda.
What both bothers and delights me though, is that as of November 8, the next election began. The front-loaded calendar means in just a matter of months, we'll have to wade through tons of stuff about Clinton, McCain, Obama, and a host of others. We're off to the races again, and this go-round won't end until November 5, 2008. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens, as I think that will either point to real change, or to the continuation of a lot of things that started over the last few years. Whether it bodes well or not, we'll find out. As they say, to be continued...