Well, it’s not quite over yet, but it’s still really good. Democrats, for the first time since 1994 ( with a short time in 2001 when there was a fifty-fifty Senate) have control of at least one of the Houses of Congress. Most of the pundits are pointing out that even with that control, George W. Bush still holds veto power over any laws that a Nancy Pelosi controlled Congress may pass. But they’re missing the point. As critical as changing America’s direction and passing new laws is, what is just as important is being able to stop President Bush when he gets too excited about something, the poor little dear. These days, just getting ourselves back to square one is a major accomplishment for our representative democracy, and for that I truly thank the stars. I’d thank God, but I don’t believe God cares about politics. Of course, waking up knowing that George W. Bush is having a really bad day is pretty cool too.
So, now that we have it, what do we do with it? First and foremost, we don’t forget who gave it to us. For those of us who are a bit too excited ourselves right now to remember, that would be Independent swing voters, Bush’s disaffected religious voters and some really pissed off regular Republicans, as well as our own Democratic base. These people have turned away from Republicans in disgust and are giving us a try, but they are by no means committed or even confident in the ability of the Democratic Party to give them what they want and need. In two years, there is another, far bigger, election…if we want to keep these people pulling levers, punching paper and touching screens for Democrats in 08, we’d better not alienate them now. Just ask Karl Rove.
Democrats like myself like to present our Party as one of inclusion. Well, now’s the time to prove it. We have to show Evangelicals that we’re not against them, we just don’t want them to be against us. We have to prove to hawks that we’re not just for running away from the Iraq fiasco, we’re for coming up with the coherent and intelligent strategy that’s been missing since the ‘mission was accomplished’. While it may no longer be possible to truly win the war in Iraq, it still is possible to not lose it. We shouldn’t repeal all of Bush’s tax cuts, we should redistribute them to benefit the Poor and Middle Class. Like it our not, we’re a coalition, not a unified party. And we can’t forget it.
Nancy Pelosi is a smart woman who probably knows that when you’re leading a minority you can sound pretty radical, but once you’re running things you’d better be pragmatic if you want to accomplish anything. And she’d better remember that websites such as this one aren’t blindly partisan…they can just as easily excoriate a stupid Democrat as a Republican. We’re still watching guys…don’t fuck this up.