Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Dems Win, to Varying Degrees

From worst to first:

Worst: Connecticut, where Lieberman did indeed pull it out. Over on Kos it was attributed to a simple problem:

Despite all the blogosphere opinion, Nutmeggers saw this race as between two Democrats, and Lamont's inability to change that perception and counter Lieberman's bipartisan sales pitch was why he lost. He could not compete in the suburban areas that gave him the primary win.
I don't like this, obviously, but it's the logical analysis. Iraq was front-and-center in this election, but Lieberman couldn't really get swept up in the anti-Republican wave thanks to his insulating "D", so the moderate Democratic support and fairly enthusiastic Republican support got him the seat.

It may be academic: the Dems haven't won the Senate. Or they have. We're not sure yet, thanks to Virginia and Montana, where Webb and Tester are leading their Republican counterparts by razor-thin margins and where both seats are necessary for the Dems to pull off the 50 seats they need.

(No, I'm not lumping Lieberman in there, "caucus with Dems" or otherwise. His time as a Democrat is over.)

So they may not have the Senate. Of course, at 50-50 they don't necessarily need it- all they need to do is sway one Republican for important votes and they're set, and every Republican in the Senate knows which way the wind is blowing. I've heard speculation about party switching; although I find that unlikely, bringing people over for votes will prove far easier.

The good news, though? The house is won. The Dems (leaving aside recounts and the like) have 231 seats and Pelosi will be speaker. This is great, great news, both for the country and for progressivism. Hell, it's good news for the Democratic process itself- around a year ago nobody was expecting the Dems to retake the House until, what, 2010? Maybe? With the Republicans' history and the incumbency protection that the House enjoys, it's quite likely that it'll remain in Democratic hands at least until then, if not longer.

Most importantly, the Dems now have a chance to uproot the Mighty Wurlitzer of the conservative echo chamber, and start getting a progressive voice heard. While the DLC types might take solace from Lieberman, the fact remains that the issue that they cringed from and avoided, Iraq, was the one that handed the Democrats the House and quite possibly the Senate. "It's the Economy Stupid" and all that triangulation nonsense about foreign policy is dead.

In any case, congratulations and good luck, Democratic Party of America.

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