Wednesday, November 09, 2005

This is the unraveling

The off-year 2005 elections, insofar as they represent a mild bell weather of the nation’s temperment, are cause for restrained jubilation. In addition to Democratic victories in two highly heated gubernatorial races, there were many satisfying mayoral race results as well (though, sadly, not in San Diego, while in New York, there was little hope overcoming Mike Bloomberg’s money machine). Far more telling were the defeats of California Governator’s propositions (though electoral reform in Ohio didn’t fare as well – perhaps due to voter confusion). In Dover, Pennsylvania, the creationist agenda was soundly trounced as the school board proponents of the teaching of intelligent design were all voted out of office (not so in Kansas). And plucky Maine defeated a proposition that would have sanctioned discrimination by sexual orientation.

Of course, the right wing will declare the election results of no national significance, as will the right wing bloggers who more and more look like lone voices in the wilderness for the politics of delusion. The real news is that those centrist Americans who always were basically uncomfortable with the social engineering of the Republican majority, who allowed fear to overcome their better judgment, how have grown horrified with the craven ways and means of the Cheney-Rove cabal and their sideshow front man.

Still, we must contend with one party rule in the executive and legislative branches, and a Supreme Court rewritten by ideologues who call themselves strict Constitutionalists. This is no time for progressives to grow complacent. The horrendous $70 billion dollar tax cut for was quietly placed before the Senate yesterday (though further attempts at the assassination of Social Security have just as quietly been dropped).

The battle for 2006 has begun, and the auguries are good. I predict that some sort of faux troop reduction in Iraq will be announced by Rumsfeld as we draw closer to next November, but also that it will be too little and too late.

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