REFERENDUM DAY: THE MORNING AFTER
One, and most importantly, the Bush train is derailed. Nothing else matters nearly as much as this. For all the talk of specifics like Iraq, scandal, whatever, the true crime against our country was the unchecked expansion of executive power. Into the hands of a cadre of officials no better at finding the truth than finding WMDs, Hurricane relief supplies, or the text of the US Constitution. Unless the Dems, who have to feel somewhat emboldened, continue to do nothing in the face of Bush's demands and adventurism, the White House's momentum will slow, if not stop.
That's enough for me.
Beyond that, looking to specifics, I really can't say. In addition to the complete demolition of the House GOP, it looks pretty good for the Dems in the Senate. I was wrong with my early call for Talent last night (I'll chalk it up to the beer I was swigging!), and I'm glad for that. Assuming Webb & Tester hang on, not only will two of the most horrid people in the nation lose their undeserved positions of power, but the GOP will lose control of both houses. That's my perfect storm scenario: gridlock, gridlock, gridlock. And maybe a little more gridlock.
Congress decides to deliver some pork? Maybe Bush learns what a veto is, and uses it. Bush starts chattering about some overseas adventurism? Maybe the Democratic congress discovers those two things in its collective sack, and refuses to supply funding. In sum, gridlock = less spending, less meddling, less overbearing federal interference at home & abroad.
But again, to reitterate the great news, we removed Bush's fangs. Without a shot of novocaine. Toothless! As Yukon Cornelius said about the Abominable Snowman, He's nuthin' without his choppers! Lame Duck. What wonderful words.
In the abstract, yesterday reaffirmed my faith in our country more than anything has in a very, very long time. We may disagree on all sorts of specifics: Precise policy on Iraq; the economy; social issues like abortion, gay marriage, & religion; the role of the regulatory state, etc. But explicitly or not, we sent a strong message to the Hill, the White House, the World, and Ourselves, that the basic foundations of our system still work. We want them. Separation of Powers. Rule of Law. Some degree of honesty & accountability. A requisite amount of competence & planning.
And it looks like we got it. I've haven't been this proud as an American in years.