Wednesday, November 08, 2006

US Senate - Red or Blue?

New York Times [VA graphic added]

"Elections are won by men and women chiefly because most people vote against somebody rather than for somebody." Franklin Pierce Adams

Not doing a happy dance just yet. Well, okay, just a little one. For the House. And Nancy Pelosi as Speaker. But I don't want to jinx the Senate outcome with too much celebrating.

I have to wonder, though, why is it always thisclose? The Dems knew this election would be a referendum on Bush and the war, they knew the pivotal states would be Pennsylvania, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and Montana, especially Virginia.

So why didn't Bill Clinton and Barack Obama camp out in VA yesterday? Why did we get dozens of phone calls per household here in PA when Casey was already a lock over Santorum? Why weren't those calls rerouted to Virginia and Montana instead?

And then there's Tennessee. A real credit to our country's heritage. An entrenched Red State, did anybody really think the good ole Tennessee guys and gals would vote any which way but White?

Democratic Rep. Harold Ford Jr. would have been the first Black senator elected in the South since the Civil War. But. Well. Tennessee's not ready to make history. Except maybe for airing the most offensive racist ad of any campaign in modern history. Run by the RNC, the ad showed a blonde, white ho with bare shoulders saying seductively, "Harold, call me," and then winking.

Ford's opponent and Tennessee's new Republican senator Bob Corker called the ad a disgrace and asked the RNC to pull it off the air. But. Well. Not until it had run a few effective cycles and was in danger of stirring up a media firestorm and possible backlash.

It gets better. Who produced that ad? None other than Scott Howell, former political director for Karl Rove's consulting firm in Texas. Oh yeah. Republican politics as usual.

Which brings us back to Virginia and Montana, where we could see recounts or legal challenges. Deja vu all over again. The Democratic candidates are ahead in both races, but by slim margins. It looks like Montana's been called Blue, so it'll come down to Virginia. And the outcome could be as outrageous as it was in Florida.

Let's do the math. Recounts + Republican shenanigans = Republican victories.

So I want to know, what is the Democratic Party's strategy now? Where are the lawyers and legal scholars? Who's overseeing the final counts? If there are recounts and legal maneuvering as seems to be inevitable, there better be a HUGE microscope on every step of the process.

We didn't come this far against George W. Bush to end up in Dick Chaney's blood red hands.

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