Our View: Everyone can cheer this election
Ah, gridlock, glorious gridlock. The political pendulum swung with another Election Day, and on Tuesday, checks on single-party power were the big winners in St. Paul and Washington, D.C. Balance found a stronger place in the halls of our capitols.
While no one wants complete government gridlock, many of us certainly are able to cheer victories on Election Day that strengthened the ability to limit the extreme agendas of both Republicans and Democrats. For the vast majority of us in the political middle, Tuesday was a good day. And those on the right and left wings were offered plenty to gloat about, too.
"Call it the Oprah Election: You get a win! And you get a win!" was how Michael Graham, political editor of NH Journal and a CBS News contributor, put it in a piece for InsideSources.com. He titled his piece "The Wave that Wasn't."
"It's a true 'al a carte' menu of election results," he wrote.
Indeed, in D.C., Democrats won control of the House after the House, Senate, and presidency had all been held by Republicans. And the Republicans, meanwhile, were able to fortify their hold on the U.S. Senate.
In Minnesota, in the 8th Congressional District, the GOP celebrated St. Louis County Commissioner and former Duluth Police officer Pete Stauber's victory, only the second time in more than 70 years a Republican was picked as its representative. Also in the 8th, DFLers celebrated with others statewide after their party held onto a pair of U.S. Senate seats, the governor's office, and the attorney general's office.
The DFL also flipped the Minnesota House, providing a counter and a balance to the Republican-dominated state Senate.
Duluth-area residents in support of and in opposition to more taxpayer dollars for the school district also were both left with the ability to be happy. Voters Tuesday renewed a retiring levy from 2013 and approved raising their property taxes by about $104 a year per every $150,000 house. The increased taxation moves Duluth closer to the statewide average for taxpayer support for public education. The new revenue is to be used to hire more teachers and bring down class sizes. But voters also rejected a second tax increase for technology upgrades, providing red meat to district residents, too, who are still stinging from the Red Plan or are skeptical of the School Board and superintendent.
Increasingly bipartisan governing bodies left in the wake of Tuesday's voting only amplifies the need for our elected representatives to work together for the good of all ahead of the wishes of political parties. It's what the vast majority of us in the middle want and we call can demand.
More of this please: "Now is a time to come together and move forward for the good of the state we love," as U.S. Senate candidate Karin Housley said in a concession statement late Tuesday.
And less of this: "Don't play nice. Don't 'extend a hand across the aisle.' Don't compromise," as indie rocker Mikel Jollett tweeted to victorious Democrats.
"America's politics ... were divided before (President Donald) Trump and before (President) Barack Obama, for that matter," Graham wrote. "The American people have some fundamental disagreements on big issues."
But because such disagreements, especially when accompanied by cooperation and civility, can be balancing and can provide the checks on government our Founding Fathers knew we'd need in order to maintain tempered, responsible government, an election result like Tuesday's can be cheered by all.