Our View: With Democratic gains come the responsibility of power
George W. Bush wasn't on the ballot in Minnesota or anywhere else in the country yesterday, but he was clearly on the minds of the voters. Exit polls -- the same surveys maligned after the 2004 presidential election for predicting a John Kerry vi...
George W. Bush wasn't on the ballot in Minnesota or anywhere else in the country yesterday, but he was clearly on the minds of the voters.
Exit polls -- the same surveys maligned after the 2004 presidential election for predicting a John Kerry victory -- left no ambiguity about the discontent of voters with the overall performance of the president, his morass in Iraq, and the corruption and depravity of members of his political party. Minnesotans and Americans answered those concerns with a call for change.
Exactly how much change was, as midnight came and went, still to be determined. But it was enough to see the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party rebounding statewide, most dramatically reflected in the drubbing of GOP U.S. Senate candidate Mark Kennedy by Amy Klobuchar. Minnesota House Speaker Steve Sviggum acknowledged the loss of his GOP majority in the state Legislature. And most significantly, there was sufficient change circulating in the air of polling places to give Democrats control of the U.S. House, thanks in part to DFLers who backed challenger Tim Walz to oust Republican Gil Gutknecht in Minnesota's 1st Congressional District.
So for Democrats, to quote the party's theme song, are happy days here again?
Yes, if the goal is winning and nothing else. The party could celebrate by repeating the excesses of previous shifts in power by extracting blood from the vanquished.
But voters didn't throng the polls to hand out fancy offices to the heads of committees. They voted for an end to the corruption of Jack Abramoff and Tom DeLay and a changed direction in the war, which in plain English means an end to it.
For that there is no time to squander on partisan gloating and not enough time to figure out how a new Congress can solve the mess a half a world away without making a bigger one, engulfing the entire globe.