This election proves that the Democrats are the mainstream political party. We just elected a socialist from Vermont and a former Reagan official from Virginia to the US Senate. We elected a number of Red State conservatives, true, but we are also going to have a Speaker of the House from San Francisco. We cover a broad swathe, ranging from sea to shining sea with only the most conservative old south remaining firmly in the hands of the Republican party. The idea that this is some sort of affirmation of conservatism is laughable. It's an affirmation of mainstream American values and a rejection of the Republican radicalism this country has been in the grips of for the last 12 years.
Here's the baseline: the overall Democratic share of the congressional vote was about 5 percentage points higher than in 2004. And what you find from the exit polls is that Dems gained 2-7 points in practically every demographic group surveyed. It was an across-the-board sweep, not a victory that depended on any single big electoral shift.
So were there any big changes? Compared to the overall 5-point gain, did Dems get a bigger share of the white evangelical vote? No. Women? No. Young people? No. Low-income voters? No. Self-described conservatives? No. Suburban voters? No. The South? No. The Northeast? No. Any region? No. Dems gained a steady 2-7 points in all these groups.
Democratic candidates won--in every part of the country and regardless of their ideology -- by committing themselves to one basic platform. They vigorously opposed what have become the defining attributes of the Republican Party and they pledged to put a stop to them: unchecked Presidential power, mindless warmongering, a refusal to accept or acknowledge realities (both in Iraq and generally), and the deep-seated, fundamental corruption fueling the Bush movement and sustaining their power.
Virtually every Democratic winner, from the most conservative to the most liberal, in the reddest and bluest states, have that in common. They all ran on a platform of putting a stop to the radicalism, deceit and corruption that drives the so-called "conservative" political movement.
If George Bush wants to continue to wreck America, then there is no way anyone in Congress with a modicum of self-respect and love of country should let him get away with it.
That's easy to say, but what if it means a dangerous constitutional crisis?
Don't answer right away, folks. Stop. Think.
The standard cliche American response to these kinds of challenges is an instantaneous, adrenaline-fueled shout of, "Bring it on!" The intense desire to engage the enemy, mano a mano, to stop all the pussy-footing, and let's get down to it! We can win this thing! Plans? Plans??! I don't need no stinkin' plans! I'm right, I'll win and I'll just let the weak plan what happens then.
And we know how well that works. So step 1 in the post 11/07/06 world is for Dems and liberals not to act like drooling violent morons - because we're not, and anyway, it never works outside a Stallone movie - and think this through. To paraphrase Susan Sontag, we know we're strong. We are going to have to be smart.
In order to confront an out of control, delusional, and ruthless president, the Democrats are going to have to be in control, levelheaded, and prepared to do whatever it takes.
America Says No to Wedgies.
Friday, November 10, 2006
Friday Random Quotes
A few things I've collected this week. They may or may not tell a story.