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November 8, 2006

Democrats take the Senate
Posted by Patrick at 08:59 PM * 71 comments

AP and NBC call Virginia for Webb, as Allen’s recount hopes fade in the light of day.

Leaving aside potential perfidy by the Lieberman-For-Lieberman party, that makes it a pickup of six seats, and 51-49 control of the upper house. Hello, Majority Leader Reid.

Comments on Democrats take the Senate:
#1 ::: Will "scifantasy" Frank ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 09:11 PM:

Toldja. *grin*

What a ride. Of course, now I want to see that "first hundred hours" Nancy Pelosi talked about actually happen.

#2 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 09:20 PM:

Yeah, but Will, don't start the meter till the new members are sworn in, ok?

I'm almost in shock. I hoped it would happen, but to see it materialize? Wow.

#3 ::: Scott H ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 09:35 PM:

Sing it with me, kids!!!

Freude, schoner Gotterfunken
Tochter aus Elysium,
Wir betreten feuertrunken,
Himmlische, dein Heiligtum!
Deine Zauber binden wieder
Was die Mode streng geteilt;
Alle Menschen werden Bruder
Wo dein sanfter Flugel weilt.

#4 ::: Zeb ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 09:37 PM:

Could someone clarify some usage for this Antipodean? When reportage on Senate control mentions "Democrat seats", is that shorthand for "Democratic caucus seats"?

#5 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 09:46 PM:

I'd say, "Well, I'll be a monkey's uncle" except I don't know what Sen. Rick ("man on dog") Santorum would have to say about it.

Wait. Oh, yeah!

Well, I'll be a monkey's uncle!

#7 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 09:53 PM:

Commence Operation Blue-Voter Happy Dance.

OK, enough with that - now it's time to start fixing things.

#8 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 09:57 PM:

I would just like to mention that today is my birthday (I'm 40!) and this is SO very thoughtful of everybody to arrange all this, it's really the best present I could have imagined. A new Congress, Rummy out -- it's just exactly what I wanted!

It's going to take *forever* to write all these thank-you notes, though.

#9 ::: Writerious ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 10:03 PM:

And now the hard part begins -- trying to mend everything that W broke and put this country back on a sane track again.

#10 ::: John Houghton ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 10:06 PM:

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
He chortled in his joy.

Christmas came early!
And happy birthday to Mom, Suzanne M, and Michael Roberts!

#11 ::: Will "scifantasy" Frank ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 10:07 PM:

Linkmeister: Yes, of course. And I'm absolutely thrilled. But all I'm saying is, it's not enough to be in power, and the Democrats can't rest on their laurels now. (Rahm Emanual is saying the Democrats "can't allow their liberal wing to control the agenda." That worries me.)

#12 ::: Anne Sheller ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 10:10 PM:

Happy birthday, Michael! I'm glad that Sherrod Brown and the voters of Ohio were able to contribute to this birthday present.

#13 ::: elizabeth bear ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 10:12 PM:

Wow. Think of all the pork Nevada will get now....

It almost makes me sad I left.

...no, it doesn't.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
Chairman of the Democratic National Committee Howard Dean

Yanno, this is technically my between-cons-and-holidays dryout spell, but this calls for a drink.

#14 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 10:24 PM:

This is all a wonderful set of signals.

I'm still not convinced, completely. I like the trend.

#15 ::: meredith ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 10:31 PM:

Not to rain on the parade, but -- the new Congress doesn't get sworn in until January.

What steaming pile of mess is the current Congress going to leave for the Dems to clean up (besides what's already on the pile, I mean)? A lame-duck Congress can do some *serious* damage. I fear for what might lie ahead in the next few weeks.

And all together now: please god, Democrats, don't screw this up.

#16 ::: John Houghton ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 10:36 PM:

Tonight is for celebration -- single malt, champagne, or brewskis as thou wilt!
Tomorrow. Tomorrow is soon enough to build a future from a past that should never have been.

And a hard task it is.

#17 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 10:47 PM:

woot! woot!

I'm so f-ing happy, I could just shoot someone!

I want to extend an open invitation to all the neocon's to go on a duck hunt with me.

(aside) and I mean "duck"

Woot!

#18 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 10:56 PM:

I had a beer last night; I've been grinning like a fool all day.

As someone said upthread; now let's get to work.

First thing we do is yank Dick Cheney out of that undisclosed location he's hiding in, sans shotgun...
Um, no. First thing we do is repeal the Torture Act. Let's bring some dignity and honor back to the country.

#19 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 11:16 PM:

Heh. Talk about a power shift. Bill Maher just outed Ken Mehlman on the Larry King Show.

Check out http://americablog.blogspot.com for the vid.

Not that it was a secret or anything to bloggers (and others), but I'll bet most of Larry King's audience didn't have a clue.

#20 ::: Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 11:22 PM:

Rahm Emanual is saying the Democrats "can't allow their liberal wing to control the agenda." That worries me.)

Oh, I think the truly progressive Dems are going to remember Rahm spending LOTS of money on his chosen few and little or nothing on them. I'm pretty sure they're gonna remember that really well.

MKK

#21 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 11:22 PM:

Somehow, this seemed ironic:

In Virginia, where Allen is entitled to a recount, there's really nothing to recount, because the state uses mostly no-paper-trail electronic machines; the canvass that's now going on, which just checks the arithmetic, is about all there is to do.
Perhaps Republicans will now insist there needs to be a paper trail.

#22 ::: Randolph Fritz ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 11:23 PM:

OMFG!

#23 ::: beth meacham ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 11:26 PM:

It is wisdom to remember that we're about to see the lamest of lame-duck sessions of Congress. God only knows what they'll do between now and the end of the term.

But zowie! Speaker Pelosi! Leader Reid!

#24 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 11:29 PM:

Oye, gevault!

I was in a good mood this morning; good enough to come to work despite a cold.

I was in a better mood when I heard that Rumsfeld got pitched.

Somewhat worse mode after some dental work and upon learning that I needed a root canal.

Now . . . wow. I almost can't believe it will last.

* * *

I called my parents this evening to thank them for their part in this; they were polling place attendants up in No Place You Heard Of, NY.

Fourteen hours they were at it! Said that about 450 people come through. Not bad for a town that can't keep a pizza parlor in business.

#25 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 11:53 PM:

I'm just hoping some of the departing don't do the monkey revenge thing to their offices. Wouldn't put it past them thought, they're all a bunch of leftover frat boys.

Feeling better today than I thought I would. No-Talent is outta here!

#26 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2006, 12:17 AM:

Oh, yeah, I was watching Talent in particular. My son has a kidney problem. I WANT my frickin STEM CELL RESEARCH. And something tells me the rest of America kind of agrees, you know, with that whole "America in the forefront of science" thing.

#27 ::: UrsulaV ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2006, 12:28 AM:

It's the sort of day where you half-expect the whole neighborhood to suddenly break out into a perfectly choreographed musical number.

And if they did, I would sing along, and perhaps tap dance.

#28 ::: Cynthia Gonsalves ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2006, 12:45 AM:

re #27, now you've got me humming "They Got the Mustard Out"!

#29 ::: Vian ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2006, 01:07 AM:

Re #28

Yes, filk along with me, in honour of Rummie.

"You got the B****** OOOOOUUUUUUTTTTTT!!!"

Congrats from Down Here - I'm really looking forward to our Prime Miniature adjusting to the New Direction On Iraq. We want our troops back home too.

#30 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2006, 01:07 AM:

you know, with that whole "America in the forefront of science" thing.

We've had top people investigating new areas of science all along. take "intelligent design", for example. top, top people I tell you.

#31 ::: Rich McAllister ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2006, 02:18 AM:

meridith at #15 woories: A lame-duck Congress can do some *serious* damage. I fear for what might lie ahead in the next few weeks

The Wall Street Journal (sorry no link, would be pay, if you're a subscriber you know how to go there and search) asked some people who were around at the last turnover in 1992. There, they met for just one day after the election. Turns out it's really depressing to show up and walk around the Congressional offices, where almost everybody you see is a staffer who's about to be turned out on the street. Best bet is they're just gonna go back home and lick their wounds.

#32 ::: Rob Hansen ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2006, 03:52 AM:

Congratulations to you all. Like most people beyond your shores I breathed a huge sigh of relief at these results. Adult supervision at last!

I'm surprised and delighted by the scale of the victory. When you won the house, I thought to myself, "well, that's a successful landing at Normandy and they've established a secure beachhead". I wasn't expecting the Liberation of Paris as well, but with the Senate going Democratic it looks like you've achieved that, too. It's just a shame we have to wait two years for the final assault on Berlin.

Oh yeah, and bugger Godwin.

#33 ::: John D. Berry ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2006, 03:57 AM:

The linked AP report sez: "Virginia has had two statewide vote recounts in modern history,..." Am I the only one who gnashes his teeth at this shortsighted use of "modern"? How many statewide recounts were there in medieval Virginia? Ancient Virginia? Or even Renaissance Virginia? (Might have been one there, but Croatoan won.)

#34 ::: Hunter McEvoy ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2006, 04:50 AM:

I think this means that the rest of the world have to do a "Thank You" sequel to this.

#35 ::: Rich McAllister ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2006, 04:51 AM:

John D, I grew up in the South and I know that there "the modern" era means "post reconstuction".

#36 ::: Ross Smith ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2006, 04:55 AM:

Congratulations on getting your country back. Please try not to drop it again...

(OK, so you've only got two-thirds of your government back, and may have to wait another two years before you can hit the trifecta, if you'll excuse the expression. But you know what they say about two outta three.)

#37 ::: Eve ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2006, 05:17 AM:

Somewhat worse mode after some dental work and upon learning that I needed a root canal.

You too, eh? It was quite a day for dentistry, I made a long-procrastinated visit myself, although mine was nowhere near as bad as I expected.

My son has a kidney problem. I WANT my frickin STEM CELL RESEARCH. And something tells me the rest of America kind of agrees, you know, with that whole "America in the forefront of science" thing.

Have you ever read The Only Moral Abortion Is My Abortion? I think that a whole lot of Americans who might well be against the whole idea of stem-cell research in principle will and do change their minds when one of their relatives gets diagnosed with a condition that stem-cell therapy may someday treat.

#38 ::: Rich McAllister ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2006, 05:22 AM:

Congratulations on getting your country back. Please try not to drop it again...

(OK, so you've only got two-thirds of your government back

Ross. this is the way our government works. Best we can do. But, before Tuesday I thought "best we could do" wasn't good enough. Now I think we might just make it. (I am proud to be in the party of Nancy Pelosi and Jon Tester.)

#39 ::: lalouve ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2006, 06:17 AM:

My son has a kidney problem. I WANT my frickin STEM CELL RESEARCH.

If it's any comfort, stem cell research is going on elsewhere - Sweden has quite a good record on the subject. Even the US withdrawing their (admittedly considerable) funding does not mean nothing gets done.

#40 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2006, 07:35 AM:

We have the House AND the Senate. You know what that means. A few days before the Election, World O' Crap posted about what one of 'them' says it means...

If Dems sit upon America's throne, we will have: (...) Abortion clinics on every corner. (...) Schools engineered for European secularism cloning (...) Condom machines under every lamppost.

Where will we find the money to build all those abortion clinics? And the maintenance of all those condom machines will cost a pretty penny... I am willing to shell out the money for cloning Europeans though, especially if that means I finally get my very own Fanny Ardant. Only for the purpose of helping with work at the office, of course.

#41 ::: Jenny ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2006, 08:08 AM:

Well, if there were condom machines under every lamppost, presumably the abortion clinics would be less busy?
(Can't understand opponents of abortion who also oppose contraception. Does Not Compute).

'Schools engineered for European secularism cloning'
This sounds like comment spam. Seriously, what is it supposed to mean?

According to the link Serge posted we will also shortly see
'Same-gender marriages blessed on every blissful boulevard.'
Try saying that seven times quickly.

Excellent news about the election results. May all your boulevards be blissful.


#42 ::: cd ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2006, 08:31 AM:

Cruel but funny photomanip from Santorum's concession speech.

#43 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2006, 08:35 AM:

Yes, Jenny, blissful boulevards to us all.

#44 ::: JohnD ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2006, 08:59 AM:

As a Virginian and an American, nothing has made me happier than seeing Allen fold up. People here are taking his lack of enthusiasm for a recount as a sign that he wasn't truly interested in the Senate seat for its own sake, only in using it as a springboard for the '08 presidential election. I hope this sinks his national chances; I truly believe that as president, Allen would leave us all wishing for the good old days of Shrub.

#45 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2006, 09:17 AM:

Molly Ivins today, to people who urge Democrats not to seek revenge: If what Republicans have been practicing is bipartisanship, West Texas just flooded.

#46 ::: Suzanne ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2006, 09:18 AM:

The smug-faced senator, Santorum
Made sleaze and corruption his forum.
The voters were heard,
He was kicked to the curb,
And we whooped with no care for decorum.

#47 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2006, 10:00 AM:

So Bush has only a couple of months left to declare all of the newly-elected Dems as "enemy combatants" (or whatever the desaparecido-excuse-of-the-week is)..?

Sorry; my surprise and happiness at seeing the outcome of your election have been bouncing off my innate cynicism.

"And it will afford me some comfort as I wander to think that you pulled down your own house when you destroyed mine." (Shudder.)

#48 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2006, 11:01 AM:

Is it true that some states had measures on the ballot that would have made English the official language? Were they defeated? I hope so for the sake of Chimpy, who seems unable to handle basic English grammar. Of course, one can mangle a language's grammar into pretzel shapes and still officially speak that language so I guess Chimpy is safe. Merde.

#49 ::: beth meacham ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2006, 11:36 AM:

No, unfortunately, the English-only initiative passed in Arizona. I look forward to the renaming of all the cities and towns. I think I now live just outside Black Hill, in the town of Little Giant Cactus.

#50 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2006, 11:37 AM:

Alas, that "English only" measure passed in Arizona. Even the much-trumpeted "Arizona votes down anti gay marriage" news isn't as good as it sounds, since the state already *has* a ban on gay marriage (as the Vote No ads pointed out).

#51 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2006, 11:41 AM:

Little Giant Cactus? Darn, beth, it's been years since I took Spanish in high school. You live near Tucson, right? Is that what 'Tucson' means? Meanwhile here in Albuquerque, I have the Sandias in my backyard, which means I'll have to refer to them as the Watermelons now.

#52 ::: UrsulaV ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2006, 11:46 AM:

#49 -- Hmm, apparently I grew up in the suburb of "That Flat-Topped Plateau Thingy Over There."

*sigh* I loved Arizona dearly. It had a kind of surly leave-me-alone-I-have-a-gun charm that I still miss, even if they did pass stupid laws like that...

#53 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2006, 11:49 AM:

By the way, shouldn't they rename the Grand Teton? I'd love them to have to say 'Big Teat' on national TV.

#54 ::: Lorax ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2006, 12:05 PM:

Serge @48:

Arizona, at least, had an English-as-the-official language bill, which passed handily. Since I don't live in the state any longer I'm not familiar with the details -- I wouldn't even have known about it if we hadn't had friends from Arizona who happened to be in town on Election Day who were watching the returns with us.

#55 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2006, 12:50 PM:

Beth Meacham, I'm mostly bemused by the fact that Arizona has a large population of non-English speaking people whose ancestors have been in situ for hundreds, and some by thousands, of years.

Stupid humans.

#56 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2006, 12:51 PM:

Serge #53: It'll be the Freedom Bosom. Or the Freedom Unmentionable, if Ashcroft has anything to do with it.

(Writing that comment made me stop and wonder -- is there still a point in making jokes like that? When we've got people with some sense in charge of things now? What a lovely thing to wonder.)

#57 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2006, 12:54 PM:

The Freedom Bosom, Caroline? Sure, except that it sounds like a new line of ladies's apparel.

#58 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2006, 01:37 PM:

Finally, FINALLY, it's time to really revel in that second ending to Mosh.

Ooooooh, that feels good...

#59 ::: Anna in Portland (was Cairo) ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2006, 01:41 PM:

@#41: That is Pastor Swank! His language is not English. It's - well, it is a dialect that only he speaks.

Once he referred to "Muslim Murderers Global." (Sounds like a Muslim heavy metal band or something)

World O'Crap and Sadly, No! often mock his columns and those are always my favorite posts because his writing is so bloody surreal.

Regarding the English-only legislation: My big question is, if people like Swank, Bush, Rummy, etc. speak their own private dialects, are they going to be sent to prison or what, since they are not speaking English, the national language? Or are they sent to re-education camps where Berlitz makes them work with tapes?

#60 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2006, 01:46 PM:

Coming soon, Anna, Escape from Berlitz... Probably will have to be subtitled.

#61 ::: Alan Hamilton ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2006, 04:25 PM:

George Allen in VA has conceded.

#62 ::: Lowell Gilbert ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2006, 06:20 PM:

Yes, Allen has conceded. I have to admit that I was afraid the Supreme Court was going to declare him the winner.

#63 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2006, 01:37 AM:

Leseee: Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (of equal standing with the Constitution) says that Spanish shall be a recognized language in all the ceded territories.

So, someone who really wanted to make a stink could get that silly thing overturned.

#64 ::: Ali ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2006, 09:17 AM:

The problem is that this leaves Allen with nothing to do but campaign for President until 2008.

And with that very graceful concession speech he made, he might actually have a shot, at least here in Virginia. That would have been gone gone gone in a long, drawn-out recount debacle. He made the only sensible tactical move he could have made.

#65 ::: Daniel Boone ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2006, 04:16 AM:

Jenny: "(Can't understand opponents of abortion who also oppose contraception. Does Not Compute.)"

Er, it computes if you contemplate the power implications of the phrase "barefoot and pregnant."

Once you understand that a woman is "supposed" to be a wife and mother in the home of some man upon whom she is dependent, then it computes.

I'm not given to finding patriarchal oppression under every third rock, but it does a dandy job of explaining this particular paradox.

#66 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2006, 06:38 AM:

Jenny: "(Can't understand opponents of abortion who also oppose contraception. Does Not Compute.)"

Er, it computes if you contemplate the power implications of the phrase "barefoot and pregnant."

Once you understand that a woman is "supposed" to be a wife and mother in the home of some man upon whom she is dependent, then it computes.

My slightly different take:

Sex is not for fun. Sex is for a purpose (breeding). No one, but especially women, for whom that purpose is their most important (or only) legitimate function in life, has the right to evade that purpose. Contraception is evading that purpose and using sex just for fun, which is wrong. Abortion is doubly wrong, because adds murder to the sin of using sex for something other than breeding.

It comes down much the same result, of course.

#67 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2006, 11:15 AM:

I'm not given to finding patriarchal oppression under every third rock

Daniel...a friend of mine in college once characterized the situation this way: "Looking for sexism under every rock would be crazy if sexism were not, in fact, under every rock."

Look for communism under every rock and you're a nutbar. Look for dirt and a few grubs under every rock and you're entirely sensible. Patriarchal oppression is more like dirt and grubs.

#68 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2006, 11:23 AM:

using sex for something other than breeding

What was that line from Frankenstein vs The Space Monster? The alien, who looked like a cross between Peter Lorre and a Vulcan tells us:

"We as a species are extinct. That's why we need some new breeding stock."

#69 ::: Daniel Boone ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2006, 01:57 PM:

Susan, I like your version a little better than mine -- I think it gets at the underlying motives and "thinking" more accurately than mine. Not that there isn't room for both theories, in whatever admixture.

Xopher -- the point to my "I'm not given to finding" disclaimer was precisely to indicate that I don't think patriarchal oppression is under quite so many rocks as its more activist foes say it is. It's obviously under a lot of rocks, but since many who use the phrase pretty much think it's under every rock, I wanted, and want, to distinguish myself from that group.

#70 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2006, 10:42 PM:

Susan #66: I have a slightly different take on it. Abortion and contraception have never been problems for the wealthy -- nor, for that matter, was prohibition. The limitations on those who are/were not wealthy are a different matter.

It isn't just that sex is supposed to be only for reproduction, or that women's function is solely as breeding machines. It is also that it's too good for the poor. Poverty should be pleasureless (this is why some people object to poor people having a smoke or a beer -- not because they're unhealthy or morally bad, but because the poor should not be spending anything on pleasures). I think, though I may be wrong, that this is a peculiarly American view.

#71 ::: Stephen Sample ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2006, 09:42 PM:

Ever since Allen conceded and the Dems officially took the Senate, I've had this image of Pelosi and Reid encountering each other in a corridor, looking around to make sure nobody is looking, and then clonking their fists together and saying "Wonder Twin powers: Activate! Form of... a progressive agenda!"

My brain is weird.

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