Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Democrats Win House; Senate Remains Undecided

Here's where things stand:

The Democrats regained control of the House last night, as nearly every close race around the country broker their way.

MSNBC projects the Democrats will pick up between 30 and 32 seats, winding up with at least a 231-204 majority. CNN this morning had the Democrats up 227-194, with 14 seats too close to call.

In the Senate, Democrats have picked up seats held by Pennsylvania's Rick Santorum, Ohio's Mike DeWine, Missouri's Jimi Talent and Rhode Island's Lincoln Chafee.

Still to be decided is Montana, where Democrat Jon Tester leads incumbent Conrad Burns by 1,700 votes with 91% of precincts counted. Computer glitches in Yellowstone County have forced a hand-count there.

In Virginia, Democrat Jim Webb has about an 8,000-vote lead over incumbent George Allen, but because the difference is less than 0.5%, the state mandates a recount. (Ironically, this was the rule in Florida in 2000, when Republlicans balked at a state recount of votes cast for George W. Bush and Al Gore.)

If the Democrats hold on to both Montana and Virginia, the party will also take control of the Senate.

Exit polls suggest the unpopular Iraq War, and the Bush Administration's questionable management of the war, was high on people's minds. Also way up there: Republican corruption, from Tom DeLay to Duke Cunningham to Bob Ney to Mark Foley to Curt Weldon.

***

Funniest moment of the night: Stephen Colbert, on Comedy Central's special Midterm Midtacular, putting up a map of the 1984 presidential race and arguing to Jon Stewart that the Republican near-sweep that year was still relevant.

Most interesting moment: MSNBC's Joe Scarborough, explaining that he comes from a family of Democrats, and that his mother had to lie to his father about voting for John Kennedy in 1960.

Most gratifying moment, present tense: Santorum gave a magnaminous concession speech, calling victor Bob Casey Jr. a "fine man who will do a fine job for Pennsylvania." The key here is that it was a concession speech, in what proved to be a very lopsided race.

Most gratifying moment, past tense: Ohio Democrat Ted Strickland walloped Republican Kenneth Blackwell in the race for governor. Blackwell had an apparent conflict of interest in 2004, when he oversaw the presidential ballots while serving as Secretary of State, and Bush's state chairman. In Florida, Democrat Bill Nelson walloped Republican Katherine Harris in the race for Senate. She had a similar conflict of interest in 2000, as Secretary of State and Bush's state co-chair.

27 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Step right up and get your tax increase. Get you abortion on demand. Come right in illegals. No sense in using the back door anymore, the front door is wide open. Hey Osama, pick a city any city and blow it straight to hell. No need to worry, you're protected under the Constitution to have a fair trial. And your buddys will get the spa treatment when we catch them from now on.

9:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

President George Bush, in an effort to lift the spirits of dejected Republicans after Democrats yesterday took the House and perhaps the Senate, this morning issued his Top Ten list of Positive Outcomes from the Election.
10. New York Times and CNN will carry much less negative news about Congress.
9. Rhode Island Republican Sen. Lincoln Chafee lost and Connecticut Democrat Sen. Joe Lieberman won, a net gain of two for the GOP.
8. We may finally get to see the Democrat plan for victory in Iraq.
7. Taxpayers will be relieved of the burden of making so many investment decisions.
6. Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum is now available for Supreme Court appointment.
5. Possible reduction in attacks on our troops in Iraq, since terrorists fear attorneys.
4. NSA agents could soon be freed from having to listen to annoying terrorist chatter.
3. Lynn Swann will be remembered as a great wide receiver during the Pittsburgh Steelers 1970s dynasty.
2. Since a lot of the polling places are in church buildings, millions of Democrats actually went to church yesterday.
1. C-Span could get a ratings boost for new reality show: Impeachment 2007
In addition, the president noted that “millions of American Democrats will sleep more peacefully now that they are assured that Karl Rove doesn’t control everything.”

9:42 AM  
Blogger thewaronterrible said...

The Democrats did much better than expected, even far surpassing JABBS' modest predictions yesterday.

And I think we can feel pretty confident the Democrats will ultimately take over the Senate as well. The 6,000 and 2,000 leads by Webb and Tester in Virginia and Montana, respectively, with well over 90 percent of the votes counted, seem like a safe bet to me.
As JABBS hinted at, why do I get a feeling we won't be hearing the Republicans call Allen "a cry baby" or "sore loser" for demanding a recount, like the Republicans had chided Gore in 2000.

Whether or not the Dems ultimately claim the Senate, the massive sweep of chairs in the House alone represents too much of a monumental shift in government for the better to talk about here. But I will offer a few points.

* JABBS and other sites like Media Matters for America, which put a check on Republican spin, will likely have significantly less to write about. That is a good thing.
The mainstream media is now forced to take the Democrats seriously. It now will be required to report the Democratic positions as expressed from the Democrats themselves, not the Republican spun, lying, b.s. version of those positions.

* Republican pundits like Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin and Fox News have just lost much of their credibility on Democrats they have been sounding off about the last several months. With the wind greatly knocked off of their sails, these pundits can no longer pretend they represent mainstream or popular thought.

* We can be assured that civility and bipartisanship will be restored in Congress.

* We can expect a much more honest and open government for all. We have a government representing the people once again. We no longer have a government representing solely the interests of a small band of hawkish neocons, corporations, corporations, or religious extremists. In short, we have a government we can believe in once again.

* Bush will no longer be able to ram his Iraq and "domestic security" policies down the throat of Americans, with the average joe having no say in the matter. In short, Bush can no longer simply ignore the Democratic position.

11:47 AM  
Anonymous trinity said...

thewaronterrible said...
"As JABBS hinted at, why do I get a feeling we won't be hearing the Republicans call Allen "a cry baby" or "sore loser" for demanding a recount, like the Republicans had chided Gore in 2000."


Twot, I can't let that remark go unchallenged. It's a gross misrepresentation of history on the part of both David and yourself.

If a state's election law allows for a recount in a close election, there is no Republican that I know who would have a problem with that. The law is the law.

For that matter, had the Bush team wanted to, they were entitled to ask for re-counts in other close states, such as New Mexico. Florida wasn't the only state where election results were close.

In any case, they didn't opt to do that. But what the Gore team tried to do in the 2000 election was a sham and an insult to law-abiding and fair-minded people everywhere. A lawful recount is one thing, but once you start playing guessing games with improperly executed ballots, which was what was occurring in that election, sane people have to step in to prevent overly enthusiastic, partisan poll-workers from, let me just say it, stealing the election.

Not all ballots are legal votes. There are rules and standards that must be applied if a ballot is to be counted. If the voting instructions clearly and explicitly state that you must punch a hole completely through the ballot in order to have it count, then that's what must be done for that ballot to qualify as a vote.

Once you start the process of trying to distinguish between "hanging chads", and "dimpled chads", and "pregnant chads", and multiple punchmarks, etc., you go into dangerous territory. The whole procedure becomes a circus, as we saw for ourselves with those poll-workers holding ballots up to the light and scrutinizing them with magnifying glasses. What a fiasco! As Stalin once said, "It's not who votes that counts, it's who counts the votes."

Another issue was the way the Florida State Supreme Court kept totally ignoring all of the deadlines for re-counts that were called for in Florida election law. That was an illegal abuse of power on their part that needed to be stopped, which is why the SCOTUS had to do what it did. It reigned in a partisan, rogue court, a court that obviously wasn't going to stop making exceptions to Florida election law until they got the results that they wanted.

You don't have to like what I just said, twot, but it's the truth, and you shouldn't try to run away from the truth.

1:36 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

Anonymous, that list was brilliant. Above all, while dealing with the losses we sustained in this election, it helps to keep our sense of humor. :)

1:38 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

Twot, after reading your post, all I can say is that you still don't understand anything. Drink some more Koolaide and dream on.

1:40 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

thewaronterrible said...
" Bush will no longer be able to ram his Iraq and "domestic security" policies down the throat of Americans,"


Democrats can demagogue the domestic security issue all they want, twot, but the majority of the American people have come down on the side of these programs, not against them.

2:17 PM  
Anonymous Dave G. said...

The American people came down on the side of accountability and a government that works better last night, and that's a good thing.

Winning both the House and Senate is a great thing for sure.

3:16 PM  
Blogger thewaronterrible said...

"Democrats can demagogue the domestic security issue all they want, twot, but the majority of the American people have come down on the side of these programs, not against them."

I think many supported Bush's domestic security measures, the Patriot Act, NSA spying program, and most recently, the war tribunal law because the Bush Administration never accurately represented to the masses the true nature of such programs.

And what about, Trinity, those exit polls yesterday where the masses strongly voted for Democrats on domestic security issues?

Just think of it. Bush would likely would have retained his Republican majorities in the house and senate, in which he has now both lost,
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/democrats_senate
if he had only in a timely manner honed up to and held himself accountable for his mistakes. People can be very forgiving when politicians acknowledge those times when they are wrong. Just look at Arnold Schwartznegger's victory in California last night for your proof.

But no. Bush never felt any pressure to accept accountability for his mistakes because he knew he could always rely on his conservative base, his majority in Congress, and his plenty of pundits, like, like, why like yourself, Trinity, to forever apologize for him.

So by egging Bush on instead of performing proper oversight duties, the Republicans helped seal their own pitiful fate in the election yesterday.

10:20 PM  
Blogger thewaronterrible said...

Okay, so I wanted to get that out. But for now, I hope the Democrats will set an example on how to run government in a non-partisan and cooperative manner in order to achieve success on behalf of the American people, instead of failure.

The Democrats have now given the Republicans cause for optimism, something hardly available to the Democrats after the 2004 election.

I almost thought maybe it would not have been so bad if the Democrats had not captured a majority in the Senate, after having won the comfortable majority in the House, for reasons of increasing the party's chances in the 2008 presidential election.

After what this country has suffered through under Republican control, it will likely be awhile before the people ever again elects a one-party government.

10:51 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

thewaronterrible said...
"I think many supported Bush's domestic security measures, the Patriot Act, NSA spying program, and most recently, the war tribunal law because the Bush Administration never accurately represented to the masses the true nature of such programs."


Yeah, right. The American people are really stupid. They support the idea of surveilling communications into or out of the USA where either the sender or the receiver of the communication is either a terrorist or someone affiliated with a terrorist. Gee, now why would we ever condone such a thing?

10:53 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

thewaronterrible said...
Okay, so I wanted to get that out. But for now, I hope the Democrats will set an example on how to run government in a non-partisan and cooperative manner...


No comment, other than LOL LOL LOL. We live in hope, and die in despair twot. Don't hold your breath for the Dems to be non-partisan. You will be sadly disappointed.

10:56 PM  
Blogger thewaronterrible said...

Trinity said.
"Don't hold your breath for the Dems to be non-partisan. You will be sadly disappointed."

Trinity, The Republicans and Bush openly shunted the Democrats as the minority party. The Republicans generally refused to even listen to the Dems ideas, instead pushing onward with their own now failed agendas the Dems often had little choice politically but to support.
I'd have to do some research I don't have time to do right now, but I believe Bush himself at one point even stated he would not work with the Democrats and saw no reason to.

History will look upon the Bush-Republican six-year reign AS PERHAPS THE MOST POLITICALLY DIVISIVE OF ALL TIME. And what have the Republicans accomplished in six-years for this effort.

The crickets are chirping.
Charlie Rose, for one, was unable to think of a single example of a Republican accomplishment when one of his interviewees posed him that question last night.
Well, the People have told Bush and the Republicans what they have think of this idea of bitter political divisiveness.

The Democrats are too smart to repeat the same mistake.

8:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"People can be very forgiving when politicians acknowledge those times when they are wrong. Just look at Arnold Schwartznegger's victory in California last night for your proof."

Bush could learn a few things from the two-Terminator.

9:55 AM  
Anonymous trinity said...

thewaronterrible said...
"Trinity, The Republicans and Bush openly shunted the Democrats as the minority party."


Twot, the President bent over backwards to work with the Democrats, to the point where I was asking myself, what can he be thinking, setting himself up for a good kick in the ass.

It began very early on when President Bush, true to his "new tone" promise, refused to publicly comdemn those juvenile and malicious Gore staffers who trashed their offices before leaving them. By doing that, he allowed the Democrats to get away with denying that any vandalism had even occurred. It made me sick, frankly. I think the Dems just took it for weakness or something.

Also, didn't President Bush work together with Sen. Kennedy on education? Yes, I think he did. He also tried to extend the hand of friendship, inviting Kennedy into the White House to watch the movie, "Thirteen Days" with him.

Then, although I don't remember the details, I seem to remember the President being very generous early on in sharing committee seats equally with the Dems, when he didn't need to do that. One thing I can say with certainty, we will never hear about the Democrats sharing their majority power like that.

Okay, I did search and found a CNN transcript referencing this...

CHRIS BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With great reluctance, Senate Republicans have agreed to share power with Democrats, reflecting the new political reality of a Senate split straight down the middle.

SEN. TRENT LOTT (R-MS), MINORITY LEADER: This resolution may haunt me. But it's fair. And it will allow us to go on with the people's business. SEN. TOM DASCHLE (D-SD), MAJORITY LEADER: We cannot quantify bipartisanship. Bipartisanship is not a mathematical formula. It is a spirit. It is a way of working together that tolerates open debate.

BLACK: The agreement is unprecedented. Democrats and Republicans will have an equal number of seats on committees. But Republicans will retain the chairmanships. Either the Republican or Democratic leader can bring tied votes to the Senate floor. Most Republican chairman were against it, fearing gridlock and being stuck with the blame for failure.

SEN. PETE DOMENICI (R), NEW MEXICO: I don't know whether we're going to be able to get the work of the American people done under a 50-50 arrangement. I hope and pray -- that is, as to committee structure -- I hope and pray that it will work.

SEN. PHIL GRAMM (R), TEXAS: My concern is that we may very well, in this process, be guaranteeing gridlock.

BLACK: Republicans said George W. Bush's call for a new tone in Washington helped set is the stage.

LOTT: This is the extension of what the president has been saying. He has said: Look, let's find a way to work together. Let's deal with the people's business. Let's be uniters, not dividers.

BLACK: The most senior Senate Democrat, a student of history, said the new president needed the cooperation of Democrats.

SEN. ROBERT BYRD (D), WEST VIRGINIA: If he is to see those programs succeed, he's going to have to have help.

BLACK: For example, Republicans used to have twice the number of staff as Democrats on the Senate Health Education and Labor Committee. Now staff will be equal. With the new rules, Democrats may better shape legislation on education reform, health care and the minimum wage."

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0101/05/ip.00.html


So I reject your claim that Bush didn't initially try to treat the Dems fairly, twot. I just think that there are some people that you simply cannot be nice to, because it's never enough, and they always thank you by stabbing you in the back every chance they get, in their effort to gain power.

2:09 PM  
Blogger thewaronterrible said...

Trinity, actions speak louder than words.
And whoever said "initially."
I said the Bush and the Republicans choose to generally ignore the Democratic viewpoint on domestic security, Iraq and other matters throughout Bush's entire term (so far), while wallowing in party isolationism.
This seems to be the popularly accepted viewpoint of most of the post election commentary.

2:52 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

thewaronterrible said...
"Trinity, actions speak louder than words.
And whoever said "initially." "


No, I said "initially". I was pointing out the President Bush did in fact try to work with your side, but got kicked in the face for his trouble. The Dems have amply demonstrated that all they were interested in doing was undermining everything this President tried to do. My only regret is that he didn't give back as good as he got.

I would have started with first investigating and then prosecuting Sandy (the burglar) Berger to the max.

3:33 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

Next I would work overtime to get to the bottom of all of our national security leaks, and bring the culprits to trial.

After that, I would shut down Fitzpatrick's sham Plame investigation immediately, and give Scooter Libby an instant pardon for all the shit he's been put through for nothing.

Then I'd see what charges, if any, could be brought against the real leaker in the Plame case, Richard Armitage, and if Colon Powell goes down with him for also withholding information, then so be it. It would serve them both right for allowing an innocent man to be hung out to dry defending himself in such a frivolous case as this. What low-lives! And media sweethearts, both of them. Aarrgghh!

Those are my immediate thoughts, but I'm sure I'll think of some more. I'm pissed at the sheer unfairness of it all.

3:42 PM  
Blogger thewaronterrible said...

Trinity, your understanding of the Plame case is so demonstrably wrong and biasedly selective of the facts.
I won't waste my time with yet another rebuttal because (a) the complete fallacies of your argument, which is nothing more than a rehash of popular bullshit right-wing spin, have been spelled out repeatedly on this blog by myself and others and (b) if you really cared about the objective facts of this case, and not the blatant spin fed to by Limbaugh and Levin, you would conduct a Google search and educate yourself on the facts of this case.
Did you ever stop to think that if you were so right, a federal jury would not have found grounds to convict Libby?

4:36 PM  
Blogger thewaronterrible said...

I'll give you a tip and suggest you start by reading thoroughly Fitzgerald's indictment of Libby.

4:40 PM  
Anonymous Dave G. said...

No, I said "initially". I was pointing out the President Bush did in fact try to work with your side, but got kicked in the face for his trouble. The Dems have amply demonstrated that all they were interested in doing was undermining everything this President tried to do.

You're nuts, right? Bonkers, right? With the exception of the election thing where they indeed worked together, in early 2002 Rove decided to try to drive a wedge between the Republicans and Dems by calling them soft on security and ramming through an Iraq war resolution, all the while Tom Daschle later running for re-election touting his ties to Bush and a time they shared a hug. Spare me this nonsense about working together. That lasted all of a few months in early 2001, and then Rove decided to exploit 9/11 and divide the country. And ever since then, it's been "if you don't agree with me you're a terrorist and an appeaser." And people got tired of it, man.

It began very early on when President Bush, true to his "new tone" promise, refused to publicly comdemn those juvenile and malicious Gore staffers who trashed their offices before leaving them.

More lies. The "trashing" apparently later amounted to almost no damage, as it turns out, and Ari Fleischer planted that story and hung onto it for weeks talking about how grave it all was that the Clinton folks would do such a shameful thing, when later investigations found out that it involved almost nothing.

4:42 PM  
Anonymous rob of wilmington, del. said...

Democrats propose something for Iraq that isn't much different than what Gen. Casey says, but Republicans -- aware of the Casey plan -- nonetheless label the Levin-Reed plan "cut and run." And they continue to use that term whenever a Democrat talks about a redeployment timetable, even after the Bush team suggests they need (using different language) a timetable that could lead to a redeployment timetable. then bush has the nerve to say the democrats don't have a plan, and if they have a plan, he'd like to hear it?

the GOP had majorities, didn't need the democrats, made no effort to work with the democrats, got drunk with power, became a do-nothing congress, and got kicked out on their asses. 'nuff said.

4:48 PM  
Blogger thewaronterrible said...

Trinity talks about prosecuting those responsible for "national security leaks".
No, it was people in the government and in the press who cared enough about our Democracy, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights to perform the oversight role the Bush rubber-stamp Republicans in Congress failed to do.

4:57 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

Dave G. said...
".... in early 2002 Rove decided to try to drive a wedge between the Republicans and Dems by calling them soft on security and ramming through an Iraq war resolution..."


You mean the Iraq war resolution that was supported by 29 Democratic Senators, Dave? The one that passed by even wider margins than the first President Bush's resolution to remove Saddam Hussein from Kuwait? That resolution? :rolleyes:

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- In a major victory for the White House, the Senate early Friday voted 77-23 to authorize President Bush to attack Iraq if Saddam Hussein refuses to give up weapons of mass destruction as required by U.N. resolutions.

Hours earlier, the House approved an identical resolution, 296-133.

The president praised the congressional action, declaring "America speaks with one voice."

http://archives.cnn.com/2002/ALLPOLITICS/10/11/iraq.us/

8:37 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

Dave G. said...
"More lies. The "trashing" apparently later amounted to almost no damage, as it turns out, and Ari Fleischer planted that story and hung onto it for weeks talking about how grave it all was that the Clinton folks would do such a shameful thing, when later investigations found out that it involved almost nothing."


See? This is exactly why I was, and still am, pissed by the way that President Bush handled this event. They actually documented the entire extent of the damage, and then gave those vicious brats a pass in the name of good will and "turn the other cheek" BS philosophy.

You demonstrate perfectly why I think they made a strategic error by taking the high road. Screw the high road. The Gore staffers were wrong and should have been held accountable, imo.

8:45 PM  
Blogger thewaronterrible said...

trinity said...
Dave G. said...
".... in early 2002 Rove decided to try to drive a wedge between the Republicans and Dems by calling them soft on security and ramming through an Iraq war resolution..."

Trinity said: You mean the Iraq war resolution that was supported by 29 Democratic Senators, Dave? The one that passed by even wider margins than the first President Bush's resolution to remove Saddam Hussein from Kuwait? That resolution? :rolleyes:

The truth said: Trinity, you completely miss Dave G.'s point. Rove created an atmosphere where it would have been political suicide for any Democrat to not pass the resolution to remove Sadaam. I think that is what he meant by the divisiveness argument.

And I add you leave out important facts. The resolution was CLEARLY WORDED and Bush CLEARLY REPRESENTED TO CONGRESS AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE that war would only be A LAST RESORT, after the UN inspections and other measures had been exhausted. The Democrats wrongfully entrusted Bush would stand by his words.

Combine this with the evidences, never investigated to any extent due to the Repukes in control of Congress, that the Bush Administration did not share with the Congress, or the American people for the matter, the same WMD intelligence it had that would have exposed the UTTER WEAKNESS of the position.
This likely would have clearly exposed Rove's divisiveness tactics to ramrod through a "war resolution" so it would not have been politically advantageous to vote for the war resolution.

Now that we have a Democratic Congress, this utter disgrace as seen with what happened with the Iraq war resolution and its ultimately disasterous results will not happen anytime soon.

But Trinity, these arguments have been repeatedly broadcasted on this blog throughout the last few years. Just as you persist in right-wing Plame conspiracy theories, you never account for anything that has been said, or do not allow any facts to soak in, instead opting to bask in your wrongful Republican spin.

Perhaps, that is why it is so hard for you to accept or understand the massive Republican "thumpin'" this week.

Now go write your condolence letter to Rumsfeld.

7:36 AM  
Anonymous Dave G. said...

The one that passed by even wider margins than the first President Bush's resolution to remove Saddam Hussein from Kuwait?

I remember that resolution! George H.W. Bush was good enough to get that resolution passed AFTER the 1990 midterm elections, so politics wouldn't be involved in that whole gambit. Not so his son. You've missed my point, but I'm used to that by now.

1:04 PM  

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