ok, so it's official (ish), the democrats now hold power in both houses of the american congress. virginia, that bastion of liberal mores, has fallen, which means that the dems now hold 51 seats in the senate, giving them more of an ability to reign in their cowboy-in-chief. (well, that actually counts the two independents who were elected as well. considering that one of those independents is joe lieberman, i wouldn't be counting on a lot of support for a progressive agenda.)
so should we break out the balloons? well, while gwb is one of my least favourite world leaders ever, i'm not exactly bouncing off the walls. after all, the definitive vote came from a state where the candidates were a republican and a former republican. the choice was not exactly overwhelming. in general the spectrum of american political parties runs from despicable to slightly less despicable, with the people being told by their media that the reason there aren't more parties is because they aren't needed or wanted. what a relief that must be to those struggling to hold their nose and place their vote at the same time.
so why doesn't the vote, excite me? well, it's hard to get too happy when you're looking at the initiatives to ban gay marriage getting approved by margins that make hilary clinton's win seem like a nail-biter. (note: these initiatives were not about allowing gay marriage. they were bills that would expressly forbid it, in case gays and lesbians had been lulled into a sense that they were tolerated.) and voters in that right-wing mecca of california said a resounding "no" to funding alternative energy and taxing oil companies to pay for it. bc hydro should try shutting down their power again to see if that jolts some sense into them. (ok, the fact is that it's a little more complicated than i'm making out. you can find arguments for and against and you can even read a conflicted person's dilemma here.)
on the other hand, california did show some good sense and reject the so-called "eminent domain reform", and voters everywhere endorsed initiatives that would raise the minimum wage above it's current "bad joke" level.
we're finally rid of donald rumsfeld, which can only be a good thing. (i wonder if bush realises that it would have won him votes and possibly the senate if he had done this two weeks ago?) and rick santorum, who apparently thinks that homosexuality and bestiality are synonyms, got is uptight whit ass handed to him.
but throw in the ongoing problems with the paperless voting system they are trying to implement and i have to say that i'm fairly ambivalent about the whole thing.
but considering that watching bush get re-elected in 2004 made me want to throw up on my living room area rug, ambivalent isn't a bad place to be.