Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Dramatic Victory for Dems

It is exciting to run down some of the high lights of 2006 Congressional and other elections in America:

- No sitting Democratic House Representative has lost. Same for Democratic Senator and Democratic Governor.

- At State levels too, no Democratic controlled house is lost.

- There are significant gains to Dems in House; in all probability gain of 4+ Senate seats and around 6 wins of Governor Offices from GOP.

- In the House, this is of the order of 1994 victory of GOP. Only because of gerrymandering of districts, the final number many not be of the order of 40+ seats transferred from one party to the other. No Democrats loosing (even some who are ‘tinted’) is a big statement here.

- It will be a significant event that Nancy Pelosi be the first female House Speaker.

Politically, surely it is a vote against Pres. Bush, his obdurate style of governance, tone deaf attitude of his administration and overall incompetence including mismanagement of Iraq war. Along with the war, corruption and incompetence of elected officials seem to have played too. Typical wedge issue campaign of Karl Rove style did not make any impact. So did so called flap of Sen. Kerry or Sen. Kerry’s gift to GOP. It turns out to be a non issue. But Rep. Foley scandal seems to have enforced people’s opinion about GOP House Leadership – always pushing bad habits or deeds under the carpet.

Will Pres. Bush alter his course? Some course change will be surely there. But it is not clear whether this Administration will undertake enough ‘change’ as needed. It is used to ‘pretend’ to make compromises where in reality it hardly budges from its policy. Case in study is the ‘torture policy’. (Sen. McCain played the ‘con boy’ there to deceive public is a different matter.)

The big fear is Pres. Bush, in the vain act of emulating late British PM Churchill, would continue his ‘adamant’ policy about Iraq and Congress would have no other means apart from holding ‘the purse tight’ to force change President his policy. That will be a bad spectacle, kind of equivalent to how Pres. Clinton force closed down the Government in his dog fight with Congress. One hopes that similar situation does not arise.

Apart from Pres. Bush as the big looser, on other side of the ledger we have Sen. Clinton as a big winner. Her own landslide victory in the New York Senate election and election of a compatriot female House Speaker will ignite dreams of the first female President among many. Besides, former Virginia Governor Mark Warner is out and Sen. John Kerry is effectively out from presidential primaries of Democratic Party.
The other big winner is Rahm Emmanuel, the House Election Committee Leader for Dems. He has delivered and he will build his political career on that. Another rising politician is the newly elected, again with landslide, New York Governor Elliot Spitzer. This victory parade of Dems in Empire State means, Rudy Gulliani’s Presidential ambitions may be curtailed. On the other hand former GOP Governor of Massachusetts – Romney – may start to look as more viable candidacy from GOP side. In all, GOP politicians in drove will start to run away from Bush – Rove style politics.

The only star on GOP side seems to be California Governor Schwarzenagger who does not practice Rove-Bush art of politics anyways. In general California is unusually calm in this big political change – only one House seat may change, Senate was never in play and Governorship is intact with the incumbent. Quite a surprise.

Overall America needed this big change in order to go away from the divisive politics of Pres. Bush. Now, America can start the ‘healing’ process and Dems win is a good start.

Umesh Patil
San Jose, CA 95111
November 8, 2006.

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