Rummy, We Hardly Knew Ye
* Boy, was I pleased to have been wrong about the size of the Democratic "wave" that has now apparently take back both houses of Congress, along with a majority of governor's chairs and state legislatures. What a huge win (and don't buy that bogus "six year itch" excuse that the talking heads are jabbering about--Clinton actually gained house seats in his sixth year, and Reagan lost only a handful). I predicted that Dems would only win a narrow majority in the House and fall a couple seats short in the Senate. Although the reasons behind such a large Democratic victory are numerous, I think that above all I seriously underestimated the frustration that people are feeling over the Iraq war. So, apparently, did the Republicans.
* Can we please finally retire the notion that Karl Rove is some sort of super-human genius of unspeakable power? He's just a fairly smart political operative who's willing to sink to just about any level to see that his candidate wins. His strategy of dividing the country and playing primarily to the mega-church and talk-radio base (which, by the way, he didn't invent) worked a couple times, but motivating one half of the population by demonizing the other half is not a recipe for long-term success. Oh, and trying to turn the final week of the campaign into a referendum on a botched joke by John Kerry? Not so brilliant.
* Speaking of dividing the country, it's becoming apparent (to me, anyway) that the convenient shorthand of splitting the nation into a giant red middle sandwiched between two blue coastlines is losing whatever analytical value it may have ever had. Yes, the Northeast and sizeable portions of the West Coast are more apt to vote for Democrats, and the South and the Great Plains have a tendency to elect Cultural Conservatives. But I don't see either the Populist Midwest or the Libertarian Mountain West (and of course these categorizations are overly simplistic, too) as fitting neatly into the blue/red dynamic. Maybe it's time to move past such overbroad ways of classifying people and regions of the country.
* For the suddenly triumphant Democrats: Keep the proper perspective. Yes, when Bill Clinton was in office the Republican Congress wasted gobs of time and money investigating every paper clip that went missing from the White House. And yes, I think a primary motivation for those who voted you back into power was the desire to see some sort of oversight and (God forbid) accountability for this administration. But focusing on getting things done in the here-and-now will be the best way to distinguish yourself from the current House and Senate. Meaningful healthcare reform is probably too much to ask so long as Bush still wields the veto pen, but a step-up in the minimum wage would be a great move, as would some kind of immigration reform.
* Brit: Please, please give K-Fed another chance. If you kids can't make it, I don't know if there's hope for any of us.