How to Not Play Yourself Out Over Election 2006

By Guest Columnist Nov 09, 2006

Ok cheer and rah rah ok!!!!! It is exciting when a tide starts to turn. Two days ago, in the most tangible way we currently have evidence for, the tide started to turn in this country. The voting sub-community of the country is tired of its current leadership, and ready for something different. The youth vote was unprecedented, the highest we’ve seen in years, which makes sense. More young people are getting the big picture around the war, the economy, and the general sense that something is wrong with the direction the country has been going. But it’s easier to handle the big feelings if you remember it’s not a victory. It’s a damn good moment. Most of the wave of Democrats that came in are the most mainstream centrists you can be and still run as a Democrat – i.e. ex-Republicans who got fed up with their own revolutionary leadersip. That’s fine, the country has been veering right for such a long time that a turning of the tide would have to feel big and still be gentle. Now is the time to go all Michaelangelo on the Democrats, Greens, Independents and others who are in office at this crucial moment. My boy Michaelangelo would say the sculpture is there and he’s just removing the excess stone, something like that. Well – the desire is there for real change in this country at every level of government and now there are elected officials with a mandate to change the direction we’re going in. We just need to chip away the bull*&^% pandering to the center and demand some actual changes happen, and soon. I want to see a new energy policy. I want to see an exit strategy from Iraq. I want to see a healthcare plan that puts the power in the hands of the people. I think these are realistic expectations with a Democratic House and Senate – those are the desires of the people who elected this new Congress. Victory is now back in play, it’s now possible again, it’s now within reach. You can point your finger at it and start walking in that direction. We ain’t there yet. And I say that with love and in deep celebration of mean ass Rumsfeld’s fall from Bush’s hip. Now on another note, I was working the election protection side of it and we still saw massive offenses. Electronic machines breaking down, having the wrong tally of votes at the end of the day, etc. Long lines in precincts where all machines were broken and the only paper ballots were in Vietnamese. But it turns out one short-term solution for protecting the vote is to turn out so many people that the numbers trump the failures. Hopefully folks respond to the call from Common Cause and others to "Get it Straight By 2008", that’s another piece I’d like to see this Democratic Congress commit to.