Congrats and Condolences

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Congrats to Nancy Pelosi, soon to be the first woman in American history to be Speaker of the House.

Condolences to Rick Santorum’s kids, who were just pitiful, standing there behind their dad.

Congrats to Claire McCaskill, who defeated an incumbent who had done nothing to annoy his constituency. She simply convinced the people of MO that she could do the job better.

Condolences to Jim Talent, said incumbent, and to Lincoln Chafee, who also had done nothing to annoy his voters.

Congrats to Christopher Shays, a similarly situated Republican incumbent who managed to avoid the same fate.

Condolences to Harold Ford, Jr., who came up a bit short, but gave the best speech I heard all night.

Congrats to Arnold Schwarzenegger, who gets the “Comeback Kid” Award for this cycle.

Condolences to the people of Virginia, who had to choose between a [mostly] closeted racist and a [mostly] closeted misogynist for their senator.

Congrats to Jon Tester, who can now say, “That’s Senator Meatloaf, to you, bub.”

Condolences to gays and lesbians who wanted to get married in, well, name a state.

Congrats to Jeff Greenfield, who turned in another pitch-perfect night of brainy-whimsical election coverage.

Condolences to Chris Matthews and Joe Scarborough, who, come awards season, will share an Emmy for “Best Performance as a Cranky Old Ass.”

8 Responses to “Congrats and Condolences”

  1. Terry Austin Says:

    Condolences to Rumsfeld, congrats to Gates?

    Or is it the other way around?

  2. juvenal_urbino Says:

    I’d call that a toss-up.

    I gotta think, though, that there are some Republican ex-incumbents out there who are plenty peeved that this didn’t happen until the day after the election. Lincoln Chafee leaps to mind, since he lost pretty much just because he was a member of the party that supported the war, even though he didn’t.

  3. Sandi Says:

    I think everyone I’ve talked to feels bad for Rick Santorum’s kids — they were all so obviously upset. And I have to say that his concession speech was very gracious.

    I think that the takeaway from this election, for me, is that the policy positions of the far right are out of step with a large majority of Americans. After 2004, I was a bit scared that the country had moved further to the right than I would have thought possible four years before. This election provides reassurance that most Americans are not on board with the extreme, sweeping changes that the far right wants to make (exhibit A – South Dakota’s rejection of the abortion ban). The passage of the amendments in all the states that considered them but Arizona is disappointing, but apparently they passed by much narrower margins this time, which is something (not much, considering that amending a constitution is a pretty drastic measure, but something). I had pretty much come to this conclusion before the election, but I am relieved to have been on the right track. I’ve certainly accepted long since that progressive social policy is not on the horizon right now; and if moderation is what the people want, then that’s fine with me if the alternative is America the James Dobson way.

  4. Joe Longhorn Says:

    Good list. Though I find it somewhat difficult to offer condolences to Chafee. It would have been a very strange situation had the Republicans held on the Senate with his seat as the deciding one for the majority control. The Republicans would have had the majority numbers for leadership roles and committee chairs, but not for votes. Weird.

    I’ll offer congratulations to Pelosi if she can maintain her self-control. She’s done a marvelous job of projecting a reasonable persona for the last couple of months. Hope she can keep it up and resist the pressure from the Kos types clamoring for Iraq funding cuts, troop withdrawals, and impeachment hearings.

  5. Joe Longhorn Says:

    Rick Santorum is a good man. He stands for what he believes. The thing he believes in most is strong family units and their importance to the health of our society. He cares about his family and obviously his family cares for him. He’ll be missed greatly, but hopefully not for long.

  6. juvenal_urbino Says:

    The situation you describe with Chafee, Joe, is pretty much the situation the Dems will be in with Lieberman. (And Ben Nelson, to a lesser degree.)

    I’m not a Pelosi fan, either. It’ll be interesting to see if she can step up to the challenge. Either way, her being the Speaker is historic, so I gotta give her that.

    considering that amending a constitution is a pretty drastic measure

    Oh, I don’t know, Sandi. State constitutions tend to get amended pretty freely. As to your point about the meaning of the election, I thought it was interesting last night that the GOP interviewees all seemed to have “this is basically a conservative country” as a talking point.

  7. Joe Longhorn Says:

    You’re absolutely right that it’s a similar situation for the Dems with Lieberman. I tend to agree with a lot of the pundits that I’ve read that say Lieberman’s victory over Lamont signals a sentiment towards a change of course or new ideas in Iraq vice a complete reversal.

    Although, I did just read a quote from Pelosi where she stated that Iraq is not a “war to be won, but a situation to be solved.”

    Uh-oh.

  8. juvenal_urbino Says:

    I don’t know, Joe. I think that’s reading too much into Joementum. There are, after all, a great many more counter-examples — GOP incumbents running on not reversing course but not staying the course, either, who lost anyway. As I’ve stated elsethread, I don’t favor an immediate withdrawal from Iraq, but the Republicans who got defeated clearly didn’t have the cojones to do what I favor, either. John McCain and Chuck Hagel suggested the possibility and nearly got hissed out of the party.

    Another interesting thing about the Lieberman/Chafee (and others) phenomenon — the so-called RINOs and DINOs — is that the Dems seem to have learned something the GOP still hasn’t: that even if somebody from your party is going to vote with the other side a lot, they still count for your side in tallying who gets to run the show, and that ain’t peanuts. True, one could point to Lieberman’s losing the primary and say the Dems haven’t learned the lesson, either, but OTOH they did elect Jim Webb and Heath Shuler (and what’s up with that?) and Jon Tester and Ben Nelson, etc.

    Not knowing the context of the Pelosi remark, it’s hard for me to know what to make of it. There’s a sense in which I would agree with it.

    Here’s what I’ve got my eye on regarding Pelosi’s leadership. Will she continue Hastert’s practice of rounding up her votes by passing out earmarks? If she does, we’ll get nowhere on the nat’l debt and the Dems will be in their own corruption mess in a few years. If she doesn’t, we could make some headway.

    Another thing I’m watching for is what the president does the first time some legislation he doesn’t like comes to his desk for signature. Will he veto it, or will he just append a signing statement to it and ignore it?

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