my unicorn is strong

I can’t imagine there’s anything left to say about the election…

We all saw what happened. It was incredible. Citizens of this country handed the Democrats a decisive victory. If the men and women of America gave George Bush “a mandate” with his 2004 victory over John Kerry, as he claimed, there’s no doubt that they just jerked it back out of his hands in very dramatic fashion. I don’t know how long it’s been since a President has lost both houses of Congress under his watch, but I imagine it’s been a hell of a long time. (And it does look as though the Democrats have won the Senate as well as the House, but we’re going to have to wait for the recount in Virginia before we’re sure… and you can bet everything that you have that every covert Republican operative worth a damn is headed toward Virginia at this very moment, intent on recreating the magic of November 2000 in Florida.)

Bush spokesman Tony Fratto, in a statement made this afternoon, said that Bush was “eager to work with both parties on his priorities over the next two years.” If that’s what he expects, Bush, who has governed for the last 6 years without seeking the input of the minority party, is going to be in for a well-deserved kick to the head. And he knows it. In hopes of deflecting some of the attack, he shit-canned Rumsfeld today. It’s not going to stop the subpoenas from coming though. John Conyers, as the new head of the House Judiciary Committee, is going to pounce and pounce hard. I’m not sure where he’s going to strike first, but you can bet he’ll be looking into Cheney’s secret meetings with energy company executives, his continuing relationship with Halliburton, the trumped-up evidence that led us to war, the no-bid contracts in Iraq, and the poor decisions which led to 9/11. He’s had six years to think about it though, and you can be damn sure he’s got a plan. You can also be damn sure that throwing Rumsfeld overboard isn’t going to slow Conyers down for a second. We’re way past the point where a single scapegoat will do. Too many men and women have died.

How much of last night’s victory can be credited to Howard Dean and his 50-state strategy? It’s a debate I got into last night and I’m not sure of the answer. Clearly he was right to spend the money he did to build-out a truly national infrastructure. He was right when he said that we should fight them in every state, not conceding even the reddest of them. But, still, how much credit can he take for what happened last night? Can’t at least half the credit go to Republicans for being so overtly evil, corrupt and willfully ignorant of the realities of global diplomacy?

Shit, there’s so much good stuff I could write about. There’s Webb beating the racist Allen in Virginia. There’s Pelosi becoming the first female Speaker of the House in our nation’s history. There’s Santorum’s defeat. There’s the election of our nation’s first Muslim Congressman. There’s the sound whupping of Amway’s CEO Dick DeVos… It just goes on and on…

Oh, here in Ypsi, voting did not go smoothly. The Diebold optical scanner I was supposed to feed my ballot into wasn’t working. The display said that it was jammed, and no one working at my polling place knew how to clear it. They said that they’d have to call in a technician and told me that I should just toss my ballot into an open hole at the base of the machine. They assured me that it would be scanned later. I don’t have any reason to suspect that my vote wasn’t counted, but it certainly didn’t make me any more confident in our system… And speaking of our electoral system, I wonder if, because the Democrats won, the election reform movement might lose a little steam. I hope that’s not the case.

Also, while I’m on the subject of voting in Ypsi, the woman who checked me off the list of registered voters when I entered my polling place was just about to cross off the name of another “Maynard” when I pointed to my license in her hand and said, “I’m Mark Maynard, not Chester,” or whatever the other guy’s name was. Had I been someone not so constrained by the shackles of morality (it’s an Eagle Scout thing — you wouldn’t understand), it would have been really easy to have voted as this other fellow and then to have come back several hours later to vote again as myself. (I guess, if I were really that morally upright, it wouldn’t have even occurred to me to vote twice in the first place, though.)

OK, I’m going to spend the rest of the night reading the foreign press. I’m curious to know if maybe the rest of the people on the Earth take us a bit more seriously now that we’ve finally done what we should have done years ago.

“Americans – we’re not so fucking stupid after all!” (That’s my idea for a new global ad campaign. What do you think?)

[The title of this post was inspired by the person who left the comment a few days ago suggesting that I was being delusional when I said that we had a shot to win both houses of Congress. He implied that I believed in unicorns too. Well, as I said, my unicorn is strong.]

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  1. j7uy5
    Posted November 9, 2006 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    It is said that Conyers and Pelosi took impeachment “off the table” before the election, but I don’t know what that means. In an interview with Jack Lessenberry a while back, Conyers was careful to point out that he would not start with impeachment; rather, he would start with an investigation. Presumably, the intent would be to see whether there are solid legal grounds for impeachment.

    Probably the way it would play out, is that the Judiciary committee would investigate things, and see what seemed to have traction with the public. If people are paying attention, and make it clear that they want more, he’ll give them more. If enough momentum builds, it will lead to impeachment. That way, it will occur with public support, and not look so much as thought it is just vindictive liberals (as if there were such a thing) doing it.

  2. Mike
    Posted November 9, 2006 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    For most of my adult life, Americans have been electing the greater of two evils, so it’s nice to see that finally turning around. For what it’s worth, an unnamed source in Allen’s camp says he doesn’t want to be “bullheaded” about the count; but I don’t want to take for granted his definition of bullheaded. In any case, I’m celebrating, and looking forward to a shit-storm. Now that the people representing us actually have some power, we need to write letters and make it very clear that we will accept nothing less than impeachment. A lot of people were elected because the other guy was just that bad, but now we need to let them know they can’t keep coasting on that. They need to run on their own merits in 2008, or we risk having it all tumble down again.

  3. egpenet
    Posted November 9, 2006 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    As here in Ypsilanti … Step 1/Elect people we feel we can work with … Step 2/Hold their feet to the fire to do what WE want done, not what THEY crank up in their heads.

    And so, our plate is suddenly full locally, county-wide, state-wide and nationally. We have the unicorn by the tail, but now it’s time to RIDE!

    A lot of work for us to do. Keep the base local, working from your neighborhood associations up through COPAC here in town, watchdog the HDC, Planning Commission, Zoning Board, etc. Don’t think for a MINUTE the work is done.

    Oh, yah … did I mention Water Street?

  4. Tony Buttons Esq.
    Posted November 9, 2006 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    I heard that same thing about impeachment bein “off the table,” but I don’t understand who the deal was with. nder what context would Conyers have said “OK” to that? I can’t see the DNC asking him for that assurance. Maybe they didn’t want the election to become a referendum on that one issue. I can see that. But what would their interest be in protecting Bush afterward? And if it wasn’t his party, who would he have made the deal with? What could the Republicans possibly have offered?

  5. mike_1630
    Posted November 9, 2006 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Oh, Was that Deans plan? I’ve been giving all the credit to Chris Bowers… oops.

  6. steph
    Posted November 9, 2006 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    I was so depressed about what happened two years ago, and now I’m so happy!

    I kind of wanted to puke having to vote for Casey. Seeing his ads that focused so heavily on anti-immigration… I just had to keep telling myself that it was a vote against Santorum, and that made me feel better.

    This is really the only scenario that could have made me feel okay having just voted for a pro-life questionably racist douchebag. Let’s just hope they start doing some good stuff.

  7. dorothy
    Posted November 9, 2006 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    yee ha!!!!!!!!!! we’re rid of santorum! it wasw worth it to trade him for casey. santorum was far far worse. casey seems to at least believe what he says, as compared to santorum who merely spouted what he thought he should say.

  8. Lisa
    Posted November 9, 2006 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    We had a similar name mix-up in Ann Arbor. There were 3 members of a Middle Eastern family ahead of me in the line, and apparently their first names were similar enough that the electioneer not reading closely marked the wrong names on the list and spent a whole lot of time trying to fix it. Ah…democracy – inconvenient but worth it.

    On a local level, I’d love to see some competition in the city council and county commissioner level, but I don’t know how you’d do that without instant run-off voting or a surge in Republican voters.

  9. mark
    Posted November 9, 2006 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    We owe you folks in Pennsylvania a huge debt of gratitude. Thank you, Dorothy and Steph.

    And you’re right, Lisa, we need to get more people running for these local offices. Competition is good.

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