Thursday, November 09, 2006

Progressive Update--11/09/2006--Great Job!!!

What a great week for this country. The entire country, liberals and conservatives, Dems, Republicans, Greens, Independents, etc, stood up and said that we do not accept corruption, incompetency, an imperial presidency, the status quo in Iraq, and an administration of lies.

This didn’t happen because the moon was in the right phase; this happened because of the time, talents, and treasure that we provided to many, many campaigns. Great job!!!

The campaign that I worked the most on was John Kowalko’s ( for the 25th Representative District of the Delaware House of Representatives. He beat 12-year incumbent Stephanie Ulbrich, who beat him by 16% in 2004. John, who worked his tail off for two years, beat her by 4%. By the way, you can not find a more progressive candidate (now politician) than John Kowalko. His victory enables the Democratic party to come closer to reclaiming the lead in the Delaware House (we already have the majority in the state Senate).

I will finish with thoughts shared with me yesterday morning by Villanova Political Science professor and all-around nice guy Matt Kerbel, whom many of us heard provide a wonderful analysis in 2004. He frequently provides political analysis for Philly TV and radio stations. It is worth reading and savoring every word, several times:

Some sleep deprived thoughts the morning after. Our democracy works. They tried hard to break it but they couldn't. For all the resources the Republicans had, and for all their dirty tricks and lies, we won a sweeping victory with a governing majority in the House larger than anything the Republicans had during their 12 year run, and a majority of governors and state legislatures that will serve as our talent pool for a generation. When all is said and done, we're going to have the Senate too.

The House majority is large enough to be a governing majority and large enough to endure. A lot of Republicans have never experienced life in the minority. Look for more Republican retirements next cycle leading to more open seat opportunities. Combined with a favorable Senate map the next two rounds, we should be able to keep our majorities for a long time.

I believe this marks the beginning of the end of the Nixon-Reagan-Bush regime that has dominated our politics for two generations. For the first time since the Republicans briefly ran everything in the early 1950s, the governing majority in congress does not include the South. I believe we are seeing the emergence of a progressive governing coalition that will unite the coasts and upper midwest with the libertarian great plains and mountain west. It will take at least two more cycles to consolidate it. But it's starting to come together.

I was very disappointed about Lamont, but let's not forget that it was his primary victory over Lieberman that got DC Democrats to recognize that, you know, people are unhappy about Iraq. Only then did they start talking about it and drawing distinctions with Bush. That nationalized the election and made yesterday possible.

My strongest hope, and my firm belief, is that we will now have the national discussion about Iraq that was denied us by Republican rule. We will have hearings where the architects of this war will be compelled to testify under oath and in public about the way intelligence was manipulated to achieve a political end so that Americans can begin to accept this was an unnecessary war of choice thrust upon us by a corrupt and dishonest leadership. Because until we have the conversation about how we got into Iraq we cannot have the conversation about how to get out. There hasn't been much honesty in government over the past four years. That's about to change.

And as I watched us win across the country last night, vindicating Dean's 50-state strategy, I thought about the doors I knocked on in New Hampshire in 2003, the meetups, and all the grassroots work so many of us have been doing for so long now. You can trace yesterday's victory directly back to the day Howard Dean got up in front of the other presidential candidates in California and asked why his party was afraid to stand up to power. This isn't the end by a long stretch, but it is a turning point.

Paul S Baumbach

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