Tuesday, November 07, 2006

What next?

It's all but certain at this point that, by the end of the night, Bush will have to deal with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. The odds are less certain, but the Senate may also go Dem.

The question of course is what this means. And let's face it - if you're hoping for a major revolution in US politics, the Dems really aren't your party. But that's not the point. Katrina Vanden Heuvel, writing in the Nation, has this unfortunate phrase in her article about electoral reform:
The last two elections reveal why America needs a democracy-reconstruction project. No matter which party prevails November 7, small-d democrats must make these reforms their top priority.
I don't disagree with the implied sentiment, except that the statement is too absolute - electoral reform should be "their top priority", not "a top priority." The reason I think this is unfortunate is simply this - the top priority for Democrats is clear and obvious: ending the war. I too think that electoral reform is important, and if the Dems manage to pick up more state legislatures, something substantive can get done.

I don't think electoral reform needs to wait until after 2008 - though I think it's likely to do so for structural reasons. Meanwhile, even with just one house under their control, the Dems have the possibility to end this war. At the most extreme, they can simply refuse to fund the war, but there's plenty other tactics available to them.

For all right-thinking people, that should be enough to vote Democrat. That the Dems will be better on taxes, spending, health care, terrorism, on and on and on, is a bonus.

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