First electoral response

2006-11-08

in Daily updates, Politics

My cloudy-headed morning-after analysis of the midterm election: American voters disapprove of many aspects of the Republican project, as well as the character of Republican government. That said, the Democrats are still seen more as a protest vote than as a viable alternative in and of themselves. That, and not the victory in the House, should be what the Democrats take from this election. It is also what should provide the motivation for their development in the years approaching the 2008 presidential contest.

They need to become less of an anti-party, and more of an obvious party of government. Partly, that will require choosing a leader less wooden and gaffe-prone than John Kerry. More importantly, it involves closing ranks, deciding on a policy platform, and selling it to the American people. Given the circumstances, it does not seem like the Democrats have much of a mandate for dedicating their time in Congress to investigating the misdeeds of the previous one. While some of that is clearly required, it should not distract them overly from tasks more relevant to their increased mandate.

As for the Republicans, this election looks like evidence that they have not been wholly discredited. It is a chance to learn a bit of humility and bipartisanship, building on their organizational strengths in the run-up to 2008.

Discussion of any of the above points, or related ones, is much encouraged. I will check in after my short trip to London.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Milan November 8, 2006 at 12:20 pm

I picked up a new iBook battery at the Apple Store in London: £88.99 – about £20 than the website, but I am not going to wait another 4-6 weeks for delivery. Also, if there is a problem, I can return this one here, rather than having to go through the whole to-do of mailing it to The Netherlands or China.

Anonymous November 8, 2006 at 12:31 pm

It doesn’t seem fair to comment on the thinking of the whole electorate on the basis of the Senate race.

1. Senators serve districts with wildly varying populations.

2. A few percent more votes in two districts, and the Dems would have a majority.

Scott Davy November 8, 2006 at 6:23 pm

A very important 24 hours, Rumsfeld’s resignation was just announced.
Best line of the election (just happened),
“I thought we were going to do fine yesterday, shows what i know!”
-George W. Bush
Montana’s been called, and Virginia’s gone from a 3,000 vote spread to 7,000 pending recount

A victory for an anti-party perhaps, but a very important message with far-reaching ramifications.

Alena Prazak November 9, 2006 at 12:10 am

I was hugely encouraged by the results of this mid-term election, largely because of the message that it sends to the rest of the world. It is very easy to blame all the bad things that happen everywhere on the US, but the political system there can still work and change is possible. Bush has heard that the American people do not like his policies and his attitude, and hopefully many people in positions of power will learn from that. The Democrats need to get Hillary Clinton or someone like her to come up with a vision beyond Bush’s term and a direction to be a true leader both domestically and internationally.

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