A Liberal’s Optimism for the 112th Congress

Well, the 112th Congress is now in session, and I want to take a moment to remember all the positives that came out of the election back in November because those positives will now be playing out in the next two years.  As a more liberal leaning voter, it might seem a bit difficult for me to find those positives, but I have done it.  The day after the November elections, I made this list:

  1. Manchin is a WV senator!!  Woo hoo!!!
  2. Governor O’Malley was reelected in Maryland… thank heavens!
  3. Bye, bye, crazy Sharron Angle… Harry Reid is back in Washington!
  4. Meg Whitman and her billions do not get control of the California governor’s mansion.
  5. Delaware’s Tea Party candidate Christine O’Donnell went down in flames – much to everyone’s relief.
  6. New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo easily defeated Republican challenger Carl Paladino.  Paladino sounded like a wild card to me (I think he got into a fight with a reporter during his election.).
  7. Senator Lisa Murkowski is in the lead in Alaska with write-in votes.  While she is a Republican, it would make me very happy if she came out on top.  I felt that her primary lose was highly suspect, and that seat didn’t stand much chance of going blue anyway.  We’ll see what happens.  Update: She won and I’m happy.
  8. Dems still hold control of the senate.  They lost both the house and senate back in 1994 under Clinton.
  9. Last night was not actually a clear win for the GOP, and I believe the GOP knows this to be true.  With the Tea Party in the mix, I think things could get very interesting in Washington… this is sort of the closest we’ve had to three political parties.  It certainly isn’t three political parties, but it is three different voices.  And I have high hopes that the Republicans and Tea Partiers will eat each other alive.  I think the GOP and Tea Partiers will be particularly intriguing to watch over the next two years as they both try to share the Republican name.
  10. Now that the Tea Party has members in government, they can no longer clearly claim to be anti-establishment.  They are part of Washington now, and if things go badly, they can share in the blame… and I suspect their power will significantly weaken now that they are part of the establishment.  Every party, every candidate looks better as an outsider for the very simple fact that they are outsiders.  The minute they become “insiders,” their sparkle diminishes.  Besides, I don’t think they are held together very strongly anyway.  After all, any group that puts Sarah Palin on a pedestal can’t possibly stay together for very long and still look credible.
  11. Now that the Republicans are not the minority, they will get more of the blame and actually be called to task if they continue to be the party of no.
  12. A personal positive triumph: I have never gotten so riled up over mid-term elections.  Why doesn’t everyone go out and vote in these things?  Why haven’t I done it before?
  13. Another personal triumph: I found my voting card yesterday.
  14. A third personal triumph: I remembered to put said voting card back in my fire safe box when I got home last night.
  15. And perhaps my most positive list item yet: I saw a bummer stick the other day that still gives me hope for America.  It read, “OMG GOP WTF.”  I might just have to put that as my Facebook status 😉

A few months after creating that list, I still believe in every word I wrote.  However, my personal triumphs (#12, #13, & #14) seem all the more important now and in the future: I took an interest, I voted, and I remembered to put my voting card back in a safe place so I can vote again next time!

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