mercredi, novembre 08, 2006
Geoffrey Garin, a Democratic pollster, said, “An important feature of this election, with implications for 2008, is that the center of the electorate clearly doesn’t like to be ignored in an era of base politics. The Republicans played to the base at their great peril among the middle.” New York Times, November 8 2006-----------------------------------------------------------In a post penned in the spring, back when I began this blog, I mentioned that because I am the daughter of a professional historian I tend to take the long view. However, it may be very unfair to blame my father for my desire to see an teachable moment in every event-that may be the journalist in me, drawing parallels and perspectives from even the smallest least significant moments. I'm happy to say that last night's election wasn't one of those moments! In fact, I think Garin is spot-on in asserting that the great American center finally spoke up...with a yell of revulsion for the carnage this Administration has wreaked in Iraq, and for the bankrupt extremism of the Republican-led House of Representatives. Other tea leaves are harder to read, with results in Virginia and Montana (of all places) still to be decided. Those races may turn out to have been rooted in the popularity of an incumbent-and an electorate which decided to be generous! We can all be happy, however, that Allen has lost his shot at a Presidential bid in 2008.As usual, it difficult to make sweeping claims on the basis of one election. That's one of the great things about American democracy-we are ornery, fickle and dislike being told what we should think. That's my tentative conclusion-no, affirmation-on this sodden Wednesday morning. We're still in a horrible mess, but at least we've put the brakes on the insane ambition of the man who put us there...and gotten rid of many of his partners in crime. After having been out of power for 12 years, we'll see if the Democrats are capable of making a positive contribution to the national debate-let's hope, and pray, that they can agree on something.