Winners and Losers from Election 2006!
American Democracy/Founding Fathers – It is amazing that 230 years after independence, a political system that was envisioned by our founding fathers still works. If Republicans had won this year, many Americans would have begun to doubt that our democracy can survive long.
US Troops – Before the Iraq war, we all failed the troops by not asking the tough questions – the administration, the media and the American people – we all failed to live up to our responsibility. Belatedly, we have come to the realization that supporting our troops means more than slapping a sticker on our car.
Independents and Moderates – Until recently there have been debates about how significant independents and moderates have become in our deeply divided America. On Tuesday, the middle came out strong and gave Rove and the partisans a “thumpin!”
The Middle Class/Lower Class – Republicans will probably never understand why they were voted out of power when the economy was doing quote ‘quite well.’ The truth is while income has skyrocketed for CEOs and the mega-rich; it has stagnated or declined for working Americans.
Bipartisanship – Democrats, unlike Bush after 2004, have correctly read the voters’ message. The message: More bipartisanship in Washington!
Real Issues: Healthcare, the economy, education, effective government, security were all winners as they should always be.
God and Science – America has always found a way to balance religion and science. We have always been at the forefront of the greatest scientific and technological innovations of the past two centuries – from the airplane to the Internet. In Missouri, the voters decided to make it clear that Science and God can co exist.
Electronic voting: Because this year’s election saw relatively few complaints, be ready to see more electronic ballots in 2008 even in Florida and Ohio!
Democrats – You have to respect the discipline that Democrats (except John Kerry) had in keeping their mouths shut. Sure they did not offer any specifics, but why would they when the Republicans were busy self-destructing everyday?
Public Opinion – The president always said he doesn’t govern by looking at the polls. Vice President Cheney said it doesn’t matter what the public thinks, they’d go full speed ahead with their policies. Well, the voters thought differently and on Tuesday slammed the brakes on this administration's policies.
George W. Bush – In 2000, he sauntered into the White House thanks to the Supreme Court. In 2002 and 2004, he won by stoking the fears of the American people in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. This year however, Bush had to face the moment of truth; the result was an overwhelming rejection of George W. Bush and his policies.
The Bush doctrine/Cowboy diplomacy –As Time Magazine succinctly put it this summer, the era of Cowboy diplomacy is over and just in case Bush did not get the message then, the voters reminded him again last Tuesday.
Republicans – From Terri Schiavo, Abramoff and Delay Scandals, Hurricane Katrina, the Social Security battle, the Iraq war, Dubai Ports, the Mark Foley affair, frivolous spending, squandering the surplus, to incompetency, Republicans have no one but themselves to blame.
Wedge Issues: While Americans were dying in Iraq this summer, the spectacle of congress taking up gay marriage and flag burning did not sit well with Americans. The voters expressed their sentiments appropriately at the polls. Let’s hope Republicans heard them!
Incompetency – The sad part about this administration's incompetence has been the fact that they have also been very arrogant and incapable of learning from their mistakes.
Scandals/Corruption – It took Democrats forty years to be corrupted by power; it took only twelve years for Republicans to eclipse that in time and scale.
Gerrymandering/Money/72 Hour GOTV – These were all supposed to thwart the true desires of the American electorate, instead democracy prevailed.
The ‘Permanent Majority’ – The biggest dream of Karl Rove was to build a so-called permanent majority that would vote Republicans for generations to come. Thanks to independent voters, politicians cannot take the electorate for granted, you have to actually appeal to all the electorate beyond just your base.
Partisanship – Earlier this year Tom Delay stood on the floor of Congress and gave an acerbic speech praising the extreme partisanship that had brought Washington to a standstill. The voters were shocked and last Tuesday they kicked Delay and his partisan hacks out of Washington.
Fear – It comes down to this, if Democrats win, the terrorists win, right?!
Negative Campaigns – Negative campaigns have always been around and are not likely to disappear, but this year, Republicans took the art form to new lows. Unfortunately they’ll be back in 2008. Someone call Harold!
Fake Heroes – In the past politicians who had never been to combat before were quick to wrap themselves around the flag and question the patriotism of even those who actually fought and defended America. This year the voters decided to elect genuine heroes like Jim Webb.