Celebration...And Reality Check
So it happened. In an unbelievable comeback, the democrats handily took the house, the majority of state governships, and it now looks as if they've squeaked themselves into a one seat majority in the senate as well.
Us libs are in a gleeful mood right now, but a word of caution and a bit of a reality check. Bush is still president. That means for the most part he still controls foreign policy, defense, and the armed forces. A one seat majority in the senate isn't enough for veto power over laws he enacts or even a two-thirds majority to override his vetoes. Our one hope is that the republicans left in the senate will remember this election and not give Bush as much of a free pass on every single thing as they've been used to doing. Not to mention the fact that we'll be cleaning up the mess left by this administration and its stroke man congress for a long time.
Also, make no mistake. This election was decided on two issues: the war in Iraq and corruption. The social issues that many democrats and liberals hold dear to their hearts (gay rights, abortion, racial equality) were not what the average voter had in mind at the polls. In fact, seven states (Colorado, Idaho, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin) voted in ballot measures banning same sex marriage, with Colorado going as far as banning Civil Unions that would confer the same rights and responsibilities of marriage. (Which I never understood anyways, why let them throw you a bone like a common dog? It's all or nothing, folks.) Michigan basically did away with Affirmative Action for state jobs and public universities. Abortion was the only issue that seemed to have some traction among general voters with voters in California and Oregon rejecting parental notification laws and voters in South Dakota repealing a controversial law passed by the governor in March that bans virtually all abortions, even in cases of rape or incest. But many of the newly elected democrats in the House and Senate are social conservatives, who've taken a stance against gay marriage and/or abortion rights.
But it's not all doom and gloom. Democrats now at least have a chance to prove to the country that they have a plan for extricating us from the Iraq quagmire. And with the republicans out of power they have no reason to rile up their wingnut base (at least for another two years) so maybe all the crazy anti-gay shit and creepy Christian nationalism will slow for awhile. So go ahead and celebrate.
Probably one of the greatest things to come out of this election is the exit of Rick Santorum, sanctimonious asshole from Pennsylvania who was one of the most extreme right wing members of the Senate. (His concession speech was gracious, but the fact that his teenaged son flipped the entire nation the bird kind of sucked the class right out of it.) I just have one question for Dan Savage, now that Santorum is gone do we keep the second definition of the term? After all, I'm sure there'll be a bigger douchebag coming along who's deserving of having his name denote the less than pleasant byproducts of a sex act. What about the crust of dried seminal fluid that forms on the bedsheets after repeated "use"? I think we should call it Haggard.
Categories: Politics, Opinion