Bittersweet results

In a political system as complex as that of the US it’s never going to be possible to have a clear emotional response to a set of election results. While the Congressional results and the outcome of the Michigan gubernatorial race are heartening, there’s a bitter taste left by Tennessee’s tacit support for the racist tactics of Bob Corker, the passage of Michigan’s Proposal 2 (banning affirmative action) and more locally the fact that David LaGrand lost in his race for State Senate.

Many times last night I found myself wondering how I came to be supporting the Democratic Party, which for most of my life I have considered to be almost as right-wing and reactionary as their opponents. Partly it’s that I’ve come to realise the breadth of both major parties in the US, and that just because there are right-wing, pro-war Democrats as Joe Lieberman was and like (contrary to popular opinion) Hillary Clinton is, there are many who are not so hawkish. And last night the US just needed a reminder that it is possible to dislodge Republicans from their positions of power.

The Senate is still up for grabs, and that will be the determining factor in whether or not the ascendent Democrats are able to push forward with the progressive legislative agenda they promise. But last night’s national results do mean there is a real chance that a withdrawal plan from Iraq can take shape, and that the political debate may begin to inch forward.

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