Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Election

Here are my thoughts:

1. It is possible to take heart from the election. Not because of the partisan result but because the people expressed their dissatisfaction in the way provided for them to do so.

2. It was more difficult to do than in a presidential election year because of the local and state focus. Yet the feeling was strong enough for the message to come through loud and clear.

3. The electorate moved more to the center, which is a good thing. The Rove theory that if you take care of your base the rest will follow didn't come true this time on either side. Independents and moderates made the difference, not partisans at either end of the spectrum.

4. It's possible the result will yield gridlock. But not necessarily. I like putting a check in place to restore checks and balances. It's possible that both sides will see the importance to their and the country's future to put their best foot forward during the next two years. I don't think the odds are in favor of this happening, but it's possible.

5. Nancy Pelosi won't be foolish enough to behave in a way that validates those who demonize her. She can see that the Democratic Party is more centrist than her personal preferences. For her to succeed she'll need to represent the center and be a compromiser with others in Congress and the White House. Hillary is probably a good model for her. Work hard, be reasonable, gain the respect and trust of those who aren't on her side to begin with. She'll need to be an advocate for causes her party cares about (some of which I agree with, some of which I don't) but she's smart enough to do it in a way that doesn't cause long-term alienation.

6. The best case scenario would be for the President and Congress to behave in a post-1994 way. Clinton and Gingrich needed to coexist and govern responsibly. They didn't do it perfectly, but they did it.

That's my non-cynical response for today. I'll resume my curmudgeon-like ways soon.


Blogger Jim said...

Don't know if you read "Day After" at Serene Ambition, but I share you sentiments exactly. We must restore some context for rational discourse and co-existence if we are to re-discover who we are and agree on how to conduct ourselves at home and abroad. Good for you.

9:44 AM  

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