Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Bedtime Election Notes

As of 12:27 AM EST, the news outlets have called the House for the Democrats, but the Senate is still up for grabs. I'm amazed at the late resurgence of Jim Web, who has about a 2000 vote lead with 99% of the precincts reporting. If George Allen loses, then what remained of his possibility of a run for the White House is done. All the better, he is an odd character, a son of privilege who doesn't come across as very talented and has an all-too-creepy love for the confederacy. To me, he was the next possible George W. Bush to come along. Without him, the other possibles, McCain, Romney, Frist, at least are articulate.

I'm also excited to see Jon Tester coming out with a solid lead, even though there are still a lot of votes to count. It's cliche now, but the future of the Democratic Party is in guys like him. The next Democratic presidential contender won't come from out there, but maybe in '12 or '16. I'm still hoping for Obama to run in '08. I also think Deval Patrick, the newly elected governor here in Massachusetts, has huge potential to become a national Democratic star. He'll need to prove himself in office first, but he certainly has the prerequisites and it's his for the taking.

CNN Results
NYTimes Results

Other thoughts:

The next two years will be a period of stalemate in terms of laws passed. But don't be surprised if Bush pushes some conservative base pleasing bills that make the Democratic congress reject them. Think a reverse of the Defense of Marriage Act, where Congress passed the law and Clinton felt compelled to sign. I bet Bush pushes, at least as talking points if not as bills, all the issues that will stir up the base, forcing the Democrats to come out against them, so that their statements get used in the next election cycle.

But, the big thing the Democrats will have is the subpoena power. Finally, we can hold some investigations into the utterly corrupt dealings of the Republican-led government. I'm not really sure what will come out, but I bet there are some nasty, embarrassing things coming out of the GOP under oath.

Some are saying that Rumsfeld will go, but I doubt it. Bush doesn't care about congress and he's not running for reelection. The Democrats should and will rake Rumsfeld over the coals, but I would put money on Bush standing by him. Bush doesn't value competence, he values loyalty. Plus, if he were removed, he'd have to go through a confirmation process that would rightly be pretty rough.

What will really be interesting is to see how Bush handles subpoenas. Given the administration's attitudes toward executive power, I wouldn't be surprised to see some legal battles over government power, likely in the form of the administration refusing to obey the subpoena. Likely this will be due to some national security justification.

Late Update:
I sure hope that there isn't another recount fiasco in Virginia like the 2000 election in Florida.


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