Wednesday, November 08, 2006

How will they do?

I'm hoping, of course, that the new majority says:
  • We Won! Yippee!
  • We're a majority...we're in charge!
  • There are people in the Gap, almost defining the Gap, who want to kill us!
  • They're developing nukes and bioweapons!
  • They're developing delivery systems (including suicide bombers)!
  • They will eventually succeed, if they last that long!
  • We need a SysAdmin force!
But I don't expect them to say that, or I'd have voted accordingly. I expect them to be just as responsible as certain Republicans were about Clinton. However, I admit that I did vote for H.Clinton as Senator yesterday, not that her re-election was in any doubt, but because I think she'd be a less disastrous President than a lot of Republicans (or almost any Democrats) I could think of. I think she does understand the line of reasoning above (except maybe the last step.) Hmm.... The Economist says that the new Democrats may be centrists:
The new crop of Democratic seats is heavily larded with conservative and moderate Democrats who are well to the right of their leadership.
I get the same view from Tom Barnett:
the centrists and conservative Dems being the new faces in the House...
Ed Driscoll reports on Galloping Towards The Center:
several individual conservative Republican candidates didn't win--but most far left anti-war types like Ned Lamont didn't clean-up, either. ...Democrats win when they move towards the center (just ask Bill Clinton), and right now, the center is where the action is.
I hope that's true. However, I see that Tom Schaller of TAPPED says the opposite:
* the vast majority of House Democratic nominees are pro-choice progressives running on anti-war, anti-Bush themes. Of the Democratic nominees in the 58 most-competitive House seats, only nine were self-described pro-lifers, according to research compiled by Media Matters. All supported embryonic stem cell research, all supported increasing the minimum wage, and all opposed privatizing Social Security.... Any suggestion that Democrats are winning by acting like conservatives or “Republican lite” candidates is simply false. Indeed, the big irony of this election is that the more conservative elements of the Republican congressional caucuses will survive, while GOP moderates pay for their party’s rightward shift.
Mudville Gazette does part of the data collection I'd like to have. Well, we'll see. Divided government is Good, as far as that goes. And the House has been way, way to my right. And I can take some pleasure in contemplating some Republicans who definitely deserved to lose. (But...some are still there that I would have liked to see gone.) And I don't much care about the minimum wage, and I don't see either side being serious about SocSec/Medicare (but I question the assumptions for the long-term disaster projections anyway), and I don't see either side being serious about free trade, though I think we lost a little ground in this election. Indeed, Jacob Weisberg says in Slate that
free trade has definitely left the building.
Still, I note Brad DeLong's rejoinder to Mankiw:
free trade does not appear to be a priority for the types of Republicans who get elected president--and definitely not for their staffs, a solid majority of whom understand neither the economic nor the foreign policy arguments for free trade.
Typical DeLongianism, but as so often I think he has a point there. Well, all I personally can do is go on giving to Spirit of America, which as I've mentioned tries to help the US military look more like a SysAdmin force; volunteer to help with Kabul U computer science courses (though I don't know that Hassan Adelyar actually used my solutions to his coding problems, etc.); and work on multimedia stuff for self-taught intermediate-level English language-learning. Possibly using Friedman's Free To Choose lectures as a base, which reminds me I'd better get back to work on the demo.

Update: Doc Searls quotes John Robb reviewing Fred Ickle:

The global order we enjoy today is unravelling. The reason is simple. Technological change is moving forward faster than social/political change. Eventually, ubiquitous access to rapidly advancing technology will make it possible for small groups to confront status quo political and social structures with weapons of mass destruction -- nuclear, biological, and other unknown new technologies.
Well, that's the anti-Barnett view. My feeling right now is that yesterday's vote brought this vision just a little closer.

But maybe not.


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