So, the Republicans made historic gains (as was more or less predicted four and two years ago, respectively) and the pendulum swings back to the so-called "right"... like clockwork. And yet, there is still hope in the world. What makes me say that? A few encouraging signs:
Michigan elected a centrist coalition builder to their governor's mansion.
Crazy did NOT win in Nevada or Delaware. (UPDATE: What the Tea Party Cost by David Frum)
The GOP (mostly) didn't gloat.
There are certainly a lot of things we're all going to differ over, but I'm looking forward to having a Speaker of the House who uses Twitter effectively.
And while the Republicans have vowed to waste everyone's time trying to repeal the Health Care Reform bill, I think the fact that so few of the Tea Party candidates got in (and those who did, like Rand Paul, seem to already be co-opted by the Establishment) that there won't be as much danger of that actually happening. In fact, the impression I have from the news I have not been able to avoid is that the nation didn't get yanked as far to the so-called "right" as we were led to believe it would be. It might just be the case that enough of these new Republican representatives will turn out to be ... drum roll... pragmatic moderates who want to get things done! Maybe even some of these things:
I'd like to see Energy dealt with; take the big Government subsidies away from oil exploration and put it toward developing solar panels that don't use rare-earth elements.
I'd love to see Immigration Reform - only this time, it will let good folks who are already integral members of our community "get legal".
I'd love to see our Defense dollars go toward actual training and equipment for our troops and not toward sweetheart deals that pay too much for not enough support.
And since it wouldn't be right to let this go unsaid: which do you think is money spent more wisely? A failed campaign for Governor of California, or the entire budget of the National Endowment for the Arts. (I can tell you which one will last longer.)
Maybe we'll even start to figure out that money isn't the solution to every problem; work, thought, and practical effort are.