Election Reaction

09Nov06

I’m ecstatic, of course. Without getting involved in any prolonged discussion of the true meaning of conservatism or libertarianism, I’ll just say that the crew that was thrown out of power on Tuesday regarded commons as something that had to be eliminated, ideally by selling them to the GOP’s K Street clientele. If nothing else, maybe we’ll get a Republican party purged of the DeLay-Rove-Norquist mafia.

And we need a healthy, honest Republican Party, because I have no illusions about the Democrats, and the next time I find myself at the county government center here in Santa Cruz I’ll probably change my voter registration from Democrat to independent. I remember well that it was a Democratic Congress that shot down Clinton’s carbon emissions tax proposal. But having said that, I also have no doubt that the commons stand to do much better with the new Democratic Congress than with the bunch of neocon, K Street crooks who just got the boot.

The recent trajectory of the Republicans reminds me of what Nicholas Confessore wrote in the Washington Monthly back in 2003, in his excellent introduction to the K Street Project:

“A little over a century ago, William McKinley–Karl Rove’s favorite president–positioned the Republican Party as a bulwark of the industrial revolution against the growing backlash from agrarian populists…. The new business titans flocked to McKinley’s side, providing him with an extraordinary financial advantage…. McKinley’s victory in 1896 ushered in a long period of government largely by and for industry…. But with vast power came, inevitably, arrogance and insularity. By the 1920s, Republican rule had degenerated into corruption and open larceny–and a government that, in the face of rapidly growing inequality and fantastic concentration of wealth and opportunity among the fortunate few, resisted public pressure for reform. “

History really does repeat itself.

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