Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A New Direction for America

Well, the preliminary election results are in. A resounding victory for the Democrats. (What a relief, after the last few heartbreaking election cycles!) Now maybe America can begin to take a new direction.

As of this writing, it appears that Democrats won the two remaining Senate contests: Montana and Virginia. Of course, the margins are close, so we may have to wait for recounts. But, after the first night's dust settles, it looks like they won the House by an even greater number of seats than expected, and (incredibly) possibly also the Senate, by one seat.

I've just wasted (no, make that enjoyed!) the last half hour or so browsing around the CNN election website's wonderful interactive national map of House districts. Some pleasant discoveries include:

The come-from-behind, underdog winner in IA-02 is Dave Loebsack: international relations professor at Cornell College, progressive Democratic activist, and United Methodist to boot!

Yet another (nonlumpen) logocrat to defeat a Republican incumbent, in PA-10, is Chris Carney, Penn State professor and University of Nebraska Ph.D recipient (and, coincidentally, he got his undergraduate degree at Cornell College--he's just young enough that maybe Loebsack was one of his teachers?)

Also, out in CA-11, Jerry McNerney has a Ph.D in math and engineering and works on alternative energy, specifically wind turbines...this one is especially nice because he defeated the infamous environmentally retrograde Republican incumbent, Richard Pombo.

Just one more: congratulations to Nancy Boyda, former 7th grade chemistry teacher (and another United Methodist!), in KS-02, who also beat out a Republican incumbent to take this seat.

Looks like we're going to have some well educated and thoughtful new members of Congress, to not just stand up to Bush but help us start solving our country's pressing social, economic, and environmental problems! Congratulations one and all.


Rob said...

My head is still spinning. A month ago I thought "tsunami." But in recent days I began to doubt and worried about turnout, apathy and voter fraud/tampering/intimidation from the GOP.

Our problems and issues are quite extensive. America's honor has been severely damaged and our social/economic issues are pervasive. But at least we have a ray of hope now and something to build on.

Ambivalent_Maybe said...

This is a great day, no doubt! Congratulations to the Dems for pulling this off. But it's also worth noting some Democratic candidates who didn't win, and how narrow the margins of victory were for great Dem candidates against truly egregious opponents. It's great that Tester and Webb will likely win their races, but I can't believe either race was as close as it was. In the House races, Tammy Duckworth in IL-06 lost to Peter Roskam, a social security bamboozler extordinaire and a purveyor of nasty robo-calls (search his name on Kos or if you don't believe me).

I'm struck by how difficult it seems to be for anyone with a D after their name to win an election in some parts of the country. But as I've said before, the Reps have spent the last generation demonizing Democrats. A successful election cycle or two won't reverse that--it will take many years of active counter-campaigning to undo the damage done not just to the Democratic party, but to the politics and society of the country. The election is a big step, but it's not the final destination.