Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A pleasant surprise, to be pleasantly surprised

y'all know what I'm talking about.

I am not at all sure whether to hang up my cynical boots yet, and most definitely this is the beginning of a beginning, not even the beginning proper; but, well, it's, um, a start.

and maybe actually -winning- something, finally, might help to further energize and embolden some people. I certainly hope so, anyway.

I still think the whole damn Democratic apparatus needs a major spring cleaning if not a complete overhaul; but, well, anyway. I am not as happy as i thought i might have been say two years ago; but then i was also set for disappointment, and so wouldn't have felt much either way, as opposed to the roller coaster of '04. still trying to decide if this sort of quasi-stoicism is actually better or not. I'm not sure.

on the other hand it's hard to not at least crack a smile; if someone else wnats to break out the bubbly as well, I wouldn't say no to a glass.

24 comments:

Rootietoot said...

I think the whole political system needs a revamp, Dems, Repubs, the whole 9 yards. But if it makes you smile, I'll pour you a glass of cheap Spumanti (sorry, it's all I've got and with 4 kids and Christmas impending, it's all I'm gonna have). Personally, I'm not a Democrat and think the Kennedys should be banned from politics into perpetuity, but a balance of power is a good thing, and worthy of celebration.

Wil Robinson said...

I agree - it's time for the Democratic party to truly be the liberal party. Stop placating the center and listen to the base.

To the Democratic Politicians just elected: Have a spine, ask questions and stop believing the propaganda.
And for goodness sake, develope some plan for Iraq!

Rootietoot said...

my word verification thing red "Idenibubihub" It sounds like the political party of the Inuits.

betmo said...

i think we can enjoy for a moment- and then it is back into the fray. we have to clean up our political system and our election system. we have some momentum and we need to use it. in the meantime- have a bit of the bubbly and dance a little :)

elle said...

well, i'm exhausted from being 1) cautiously hopeful, 2)waiting up most of the night then, 3)not wanting to seem smug, and 4) reminding myself that i need to wait to see if real change ensues.

F*ck that! I admit, that I am very, very, very HAPPY. Why shouldn't we celebrate? If Republicans took their past victories as signs from God, why can't we be happy without qualifiers and warnings and restraint?

If I drank champagne, belle, I'd go so far as to forsake the hip-hop standards Cristal and Dom to splurge on a Krug or something.

belledame222 said...

truth be known, i've never actually liked the stuff that much, champagne. then again i don't suppose i've ever had the truly high-end stuff.

some sort of gathering involving food and alcohol and rowdiness is called for though, i think.

but not tonight; it's drear and rainy out and i'm pleasantly mellow even without the booze.

Renegade Evolution said...

bubbly? I busted out the jagermeister!

rey said...

Well, one thing we can surely be happy about: people of South Dakota voted to repeal that horrible abortion law their legislators passed. So there, stop with the ambivalence and celebrate!

belledame222 said...

...this is rather interesting: somehow in all the brouhaha i missed that we now have our first actual self-described socialist Senator. Bernard Sanders in Vermont. anyone else catch this?

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/opinion/291587_goodman09.html

belledame222 said...

o, not ambivalent! just...hm.

Have you ever been in an airport or maybe a train station, where you've been walking and walking and walking, carrying heavy baggage, trying to get to the other terminal to make your next connection? And it seems like you've been at it forfuckingever and you never get any closer? And you get on one of those long horizontal escalator things? And you walk and you walk (just to try to move it along faster) and it seems like you're never gonna reach the end? And suddenly it -is- there and you step off? And you have that weird sense of vertigo?

and actually after all you -have- been covering ground, it turns out, much as it didn't seem like it for a while, and it -seems- like you're a hell of a lot closer to where you need to be, signs are pointing in the right direction, but...you're still not there yet and you're not at all sure you're gonna make your flight in time?

ballgame said...

To me, this election puts a significant roadblock between us and the Very Worst That Could Happen, which is reason enough to celebrate.

The Very Worst is sadly still very much a possibility unless and until habeas corpus and the Posse Comitatus Act are restored, unlimited & unregulated domestic spying is shut down, hackable election machines are disposed of, etc. Some (most?) of that isn't going to be possible until the Dems have the White House.

Kai said...

I'm not generally too enamored of the corporatist Dems but there's no denying that this was a big step in the right direction. For whatever reason, it makes me feel a whole lot better about the country. I uncorked a bottle of Scotch; then again, I frankly don't need much of excuse to do that.

Still, I remain convinced that overcoming the 2-party system is crucial to real reform; which means public financing of elections, instant-runoff voting, and abolition of the electoral college. Then we can have 3 or 5 or 7 parties running for office, forming governing coalitions, all that jazz. You know, a vigorous granular democracy instead of a broad-brush corporate-sponsored charade.

The question for me now is, what to do with the next 2 years? I'm gonna spend some time thinking about this, but my first thought is that we need to find ways to prop up the most progressive voices in Congress, give them a megaphone, give them belledame's axe and shit.

Peace all.

belledame222 said...

Well, yeah. But in a way those things too are symptoms. There're some really profound shifts going on here; if we don't collectively figure out how to make sense of them, ride them, transform them and ourselves, -evolve,- the backlash will hit back stronger than ever. Those of us who do not want to party like it's 1620 (or 620, or 6 million B.C., pretty much) are gonna have to come up with something better than "well, at least we're not -them.-"

this perhaps buys some time and breathing room.

it means, time to -really- get to work, now.

belledame222 said...

kai slip't.

I dunno if multiparties are the solution or not, even assuming the bipartisan model that we've had pretty much since the beginning could be overhauled (or what it would take to get there). I mean, the Weimar Republic had multiple parties...

It might help. I just don't think it's the bottom line here.

Kai said...

belledame222,

Agreed, multiple parties aren't a solution. I'm more trying to say, we need parties other than these 2 corporatist parties, from both narrative and policy perspectives. Right now the left-right narrative serves, as Chomsky says, to establish the permissible range of thought. Seems like we need to find ways to bust open that range of permissible thought.

I suppose it's also possible for a progressive populist movement to reclaim the Dems and kick out the lobbyists who currently write national legislation.

Anyway, AP just called the Senate for the Dems. We all deserve a celebration.

Cheers.

belledame222 said...

--oh!! missed that! WHEE

but has thingie conceded? does it matter?

can we mock and point and call him a sore loser if he doesn't?? not like they'd ever do such a thing were the shoe on the other foot, of course...

belledame222 said...

yeah, narrative and policy are good ways to frame it. personally i'm more interested in the narrative end, so I'm biased, but even so i do think that that's the area that's -really- gone neglected for quite a while. find that and i think the policy will follow.

Quinn said...

I'll be cracking some good non-alcoholic crap here, too. It won't solve all our problems, but it damn well moves us away from the abyss. And that's good enough for me today.

R. Mildred said...

I'm filled with an intense feeling of confusion, racked with ambiguity.

On the one hand good thigns have happened, but on the other hand bad things have happened, and through all I cna't help but wonder when the next Guy Fawkes-esque terrorist attack will occur to enable the ushering in of full martial law.

R. Mildred said...

not that I'm paranoid or anything.

-Chickenlittle Mildred

cicely said...

Heartfelt congratulations from down under! This result will be cheered around the world.

petitpoussin said...

BD - the way I'm thinking about it, once my initial 'let's read some poetry and bust out the good wine' impulse was fulfilled, is that overall this was America balancing out. We don't like to have one party running the whole game -- at least, not for long. So I think it's all about taking advantage of the pendulum swinging (finally!) the other way, and people feeling somewhat galvanized... motivate the public the way we were motivated around South Dakota, for example. I knew all about South Dakota but I hadn't even heard of the affirmative action repeal in Michigan somehow.

So I guess it's about selecting our starting point. We could start with getting rid of that crap Military Commissions Act. For example.

Alon Levy said...

Still, I remain convinced that overcoming the 2-party system is crucial to real reform; which means public financing of elections, instant-runoff voting, and abolition of the electoral college. Then we can have 3 or 5 or 7 parties running for office, forming governing coalitions, all that jazz.

Uh, no. Any political science textbook will tell you that a single-member-district system promotes a two-party system, regardless of how elections are financed or which voting system is used to select the single member. Australia, which uses IRV, has a more rigid two-party system than Britain and Canada, which use plurality.

If you want a multiparty system, work for proportional representation in the House. It'll probably require a Constitutional amendment, but frankly the entire Constitution needs to be rewritten.

Kai said...

Alon Levy,

Cool. Proportional representation would be grand, rewriting the constitution sublime. I wasn't trying to outsmart anyone or any political textbook here, just saying I'd like to get rid of 2-party corporatism via whatever means would work best, which we can most certainly discuss, and I'm willing to listen and learn. Dig?