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Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Is there some reason they canít count that last one percent of the votes in Virginia? Iím starting to get a little suspicious that somebody is in the back room of some office frantically filling out just enough ballots to tilt the Senate race back in the other direction. Theyíve been stuck on 99% reporting since last night, and the Democratic candidate is still ahead by the same number of votes.

Since the entire fabric of democracy hangs on those seven thousand votes between Jim Webb and George Allen, itís not surprising that nobody wants to say that Webb won. (Well, except Webb, that is. He said it last night.) All of the other seats the Democrats needed to pick up to win control of the Senate have gone their way, Missouri last night and Montana this morning. The pencil-thin majority they have in the Virginia race, if it holds up, gives them the right to name committee chairs and set the agenda for at least the next two years.

Itís not exactly a mandate, though. Itís a few thousand votes here and there in a few states. Still, thatís all it was for George W. Bush in 2000, and he crowned himself emperor of the world on the basis of it. Heís a little more humble today than he was then. He even booted his favorite court jester Rummy out of his cushy office in the Pentagon, as a symbol of humility. Not regret or remorse or repentance, but humility. Weíll take it, if thatís all we can get.

Weíve heard the call for bipartisanship before. The Republicans offered it after they took the White House six years ago, and it lasted approximately until the applause died down from the inaugural address. The Democrats are making the same noises now, but how can they forget how theyíve been treated the last six years? Twelve years, for that matter, since the Gingrich revolution of 1994. The Grand Old Party has ruled with arrogance, marginalizing anyone who isnít rich, white and a member of the old boysí club.

Ha! If things go as they should, a woman will be a couple of heartbeats from the presidency, come January. A Democrat. A liberal. A San Franciscan. Ha! Nancy Pelosi will be elected Speaker and will be third in line to the presidency. Better give up the pork rinds, George. Ought to have that pacemaker checked, Dick. Ha!

2 October 2006

Hovering cloud bank.

Iím trying so hard not to gloat. Give me a couple of days and Iíll be as humble as GWB again. The Dems will do something stupid; itís almost inevitable. Maybe John Kerry will try to tell another joke. We govern by consensus and compromise in this country, and the result is that nobodyís ever totally happy with what happens in Washington. But weíve cleaned out some of the more corrupt politicians, and a new regime is in charge of the Congress. After all this time, that canít be a bad thing.

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Late tonight news sources declared Webb, the Democrat, the winner in Virginia, although Allen has yet to concede. He canít deny the numbers, although Iím sure it hurts to lose by such a small margin. He still has aspirations to the presidency, so thereís no percentage in prolonging the agony with recounts and court battles. So now both houses of Congress will be in Democratic hands for the first time in over a decade.

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One year ago: Suspicion
"Arnold staked his political reputation on these four propositions, which means that a year from now we could be seeing a new governor elected."

Two years ago: Two Steps Back
"I donít feel qualified to comment on specific military operations, except to say that it seems to me if they had any confidence that this would be a success, they would have moved in before the election instead of six days after."

Three years ago: Magic Kingdom
"The day started early. Apparently all days start early, but I don't usually participate."

Four years ago: Chasing
"I do my best, but you can't squeeze oil out of a cactus. (Or can you? I have no idea; I just made that up.)"

Five years ago: False Front
"What I mean is that by sheer nervous energy, I would have had a kind of force field around me, and nothing as wobbly as one of those gold-knobbed posts would stand a chance."

Six years ago: Close the Exit Polls
"The only 'mandate' we need is the general agreement that whoever occupies the White House was elected fairly."

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