Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Midterm Reactions

Amendment 2 Approved


I was somewhat giddy(see 8:12 comment) at the thought this would fail, but it appears to have passed.

So, the pro-ESCR crowd managed to buy their amendment. I hope they're happy with themselves. I found this especially rich:

Donn Rubin, of the Coalition for Lifesaving Cures, said, “We've known for a long time that a large majority of Missourians support stem cell research. Unfortunately, the issue was clouded to a great extent in the last few weeks ... I think that's why the margin of victory was as narrow as it was.”

Ah, yes, pity the poort Amendment 2 advocates, with their 30 to 1 money advantage and array of star power, who nevertheless had the issue clouded. Perhaps if they had built their case honestly, instead of hyped promises, they wouldn't have been open to such "clouding." I mean really, how can a campaign that ran ads in pretty much every commercial break for the last month dare to complaing about their issue being "clouded?"

Oh, well..

McCaskill defeats Talent


I think Jim Talent is a decent guy who got caught up in the anti-GOP current, and lost because of it. And I am not expecting anything special from McCaskill in the Senate.

This may seem like sour grapes, but it looked to me over the past week that Talent's heart wasn't in it. I think he was tired of trying to bridge the tension between running for himself and running from the party's unpopularity. When I saw him give his concession speech last night, he seemed relieved, glad he doesn't have to play this game anymore.

He's still a young man, hopefully he'll do some more good things.

Dems take House


No skin off my nose. I think Washington needs a shake-up.

The big issue this would seem to have an impact on is immigration, which I'm not too firmly on one side or the other.

I saw Dan Murtha interviewed on NBC last night, and if he takes on a leadership position, I think his reputation is going to suffer. He looked to me like he has one gear -- angry. He couldn't take "yes" for an answer.

Yes, Dan, your anger about the Iraq war is understandable. But you just won the election, and now you have to govern. And blind rage isn't going to do it.

If he becomes House majority leader, I expect he'll become a punch line for a lot of Letterman and Stewart jokes.

Dems appear to take Senate


This is a bit more troublesome for me, because of the judiciary. Bush has already demonstrated that judicial nominations is one area where he'll give a little bit. If there is another vacancy on the Supreme Court, I don't know that Bush has either the capital or the will to back a conservative nominee against a Democratic Senate.

This will be especially true if, as expected, Christian conservatives emerge as the scapegoats for the rout. Especially with Santorum going down. (Even though he went down to a socially conservative Democrat, and his defeat probably has more to do with his stubborn defense of the Iraq policy than his social positions). I mean, do we even need to read Andrew Sullivan today to know that he's saying that today's election results should serve as a wakeup call to the GOP that to remain relevant they need to break the chains with the "Christianists?" Let me check... Here it is! I suspect more will follow.

It'll be an easy bone for Bush to throw to nominate a "moderate," and distance himself from the now discredited Christian Right.

Miscellany


  • MO Cigarrette tax defeates -- Somewhat surprising to me. It's interesting to me that we'll gamble on embryonic research, which may or may not cure diseases, but we won't take serious measures to curtail smoking, which has more certain health benefits.

    Probably demonstrates that any initiative that has the word "tax" in it faces an uphill battles.
  • Minimum wage increase approved by wide margin -- It will be interesting to see how regions with higher minumum wages fare compared to those who have the federal one.
  • Tom Brokaw's "perspective" -- I suspect a high correlation between Tom Brokaw's "perspective" on what "America was saying" and Tom Brokaw's personal beliefs.
  • The New Divide Kaus says the red-blue divide may go away, and that may be true. I don't think either party can count on taking whole sections of the map anymore, especially the GOP in the central plains. In order to have power, the GOP will need to find a way to appeal to what were "blue states." They can't just write them off and count on winning the South and West. That's a good thing.

    But I think the red-blue state divide may be replaced by a lower scale urban-rural divide. Every state may be up for grabs (or at least open to Democrats), but regions remain solidly in one camp or another, especially with gerrymandering.

    This was driven home watching the results in Missouri come in last night. Amendment 2 was and McCaskill were trailing by 5-6 points most of the night. Then the results from the St. Louis and Kansas City cam in, and McCaskill and Amendment 2 surged ahead.
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