My excitement about the Democrats’ win in the 2006 midterms does not match my crushing, bitter disappointment in 2004, which genuinely depressed me (I believe the record will bear this out). I’m excited now, certainly, and optimistic, and energized, but I don’t feel that my world has changed much. Partly it’s that I expected us to win; the polls were certainly going in that direction, and so as soon as things started going well I wasn’t surprised. Partly it’s that in 2004 we were going up against Bush directly, rather than dozens of evil surrogates. And I suppose that it’s hard for relief to match up with disappointment. My team narrowly lost the 2002 World Series, and those memories still haunt me. If we had won, I doubt that would sustain me for long; I’d want another championship. You can’t get enough of success.
(Do you like my persistent use of the first person plural to refer to both the Democrats and the San Francisco Giants? I did give like $20 to the DCCC, and I bought a bunch of baseball tickets in ’02, so I would say I can claim some stake in it all.)
I am certainly relieved that there is not some magical GOP curse that means the Democrats will never win another election. Karl Rove is not the boogeyman, he’s just a man—an evil, awful man, but still just a (horrible, ugly) man. The Republicans did not steal this election, and it never looked like they would: as Acephalous pointed out, this one was not close enough to steal. So democracy works, sorta. Close enough for government work.
I’m going to write more lucidly about the election soon (maybe), but I wanted to get this much down on e-paper while it’s still fresh: I will bet anyone in the world ten dollars that when the dust settles the Democrats will have won the Senate too. If you want to take me up on this, leave a comment saying so and we’ll settle it when the decisions are official. In the meantime, don’t spend my money on anything.
12:33 p.m.: Edited to fix a few 3 a.m. grammar mistakes.