Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Gay, moderate, and liberal web sites and blogs are positively giddy this morning, and I share much of that sense of excitement. For many of us -- most of my readership, I'm sure -- Election Day 2006 was a very good day.

But the sheer euphoria is a little over the top. Sorry... I hate to be the wet blanket, but yesterday did not result in a radical remaking of Congress. January 1, 2007 will change things for the better, but will you see radical change? Uh... no.

Let's look at some facts.

1. First, never underestimate the ability of Democratic Party to put its internecine warfare front and center. You know that Democrats subscribe to the 'circular firing squad' philosophy when it comes to settling our differences.

2. While in most cases -- maybe every case -- the new Democrats are an improvement on the Republicans they replaced, don't think they are different as night and day. Democrats Bob Casey and Heath Shuler are not going to be more liberal than, say, Republican Lincoln Chafee.

3. In the same vein, the moderate and conservative Democrats may take a lesson from Joe Lieberman's victory and feel emboldened to pursue their independence at the sake of party discipline. That's not exactly a bad thing, in my opinion, but it could make that 235 seat majority in the House a lot less comfortable than it looks.

4. And in the Senate, where a one-vote margin is the best the Democrats can hope for, you might as well settle back and wait for the gridlock... especially since Lieberman himself now knows he has nothing to fear in incurring the wrath of Reid or Dodd or the Daily Kos, and can ride out the next six years doing whatever the hell he wants.

5. Republican corruption is bad. Democratic corruption is just as bad. And don't think that random shady Democrats won't find a way to make themselves the New Neys over the next few years.

Okay, that was the bad news. Here is the good news:

1. A lot of good men and women will be going to Washington.

2. A lot of Republican assholes will be leaving Washington.

3. Celebration -- if not euphoria -- is in order. This was a significant election and, although it won't solve everything and make all perfect in the world, it is more a giant stride forward than a baby step.

So enjoy. And continue the good work in 2008.

UPDATE: And if you need a boost to your enthusiasm for 2008, allow me to present (via Fark) a list of incumbent Senators up for re-election in two years. There is every reason to feel optimistic.

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