Wednesday, November 08, 2006



With Claire McCaskill winning the Senate seat in Missouri and Democrats leading in the Senate races in Montana and Virginia, the Democratic party has pulled off one of the most stunning and important election victories in America's history.

If the slim margins hold in Montana and Virginia, the Democrats will have picked up at least 26 seats in the House and also wrested control away from the Republicans in the Senate, 51-49. The pickups in the House guarantee a Democratic majority for the first time in 12 years and (in January, 2007) will proffer upon party leader Nancy Pelosi the title of Speaker of the House.

A number of Democrats are not conceding losses at this time, notably Eric Massa and Dan Maffei in two close House races in upstate New York, and Victoria Wulsin in Ohio, who is within less than 1% of unseating Republican name-caller Jean Schmidt. The Wulsin camp is considering legal options, a recount and waiting for all the votes to be counted.

Wulsin spokesman Ady Barkan said provisional and absentee ballots could tip the balance and that the campaign would consider asking for a recount.

With the gains in both houses, Democrats now have the authority to order investigations - with subpoena powers - on everything from the war in Iraq to president Bush's illegal wiretapping operations.

The changes may not be evident at first blush, but the national nightmare that began in 2000 with the illegal appointment by the Supreme Court of George Bush as president, is nearly over.

The president will be the lamest of lame ducks, with only his veto power to help him avoid complete and total repudiation of all of his misguided policies. Democrats have pledged not to forge ahead with impeachment hearings, though John Conyers (D-Mich), who will become chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, will surely reopen investigations into voting irregularities and reform and the White House's wiretapping efforts.

The shoe is firmly on the other foot today, and the Democrats should waste little time fixing the wrongs of the past six years. The list is lengthy.

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