All these elections have been very close. Liberals choked when Dubya claimed a mandate for winning or scraping by with a very slender margin or court majority. Conservatives gleefully point out they can blame the Dems now for everything, but with a 51-49 lead in the Senate, the Dems can't actually do anything without them. Both are right and both are wrong.
I am heartened that the Democratic leadership is talking about the "first hundred hours." For years we've talked about honeymoon periods and first hundred days and long term Contracts on America. But in the real political world, things have to compromise and percolate and end up processed. Even when you are the majority in more than one branch. So to talk about things to start rolling in just the first hundred hours is ambitious, yet leaves the rest of the next two years not so damned fixed in stone. Perhaps some good things can come from this.
I am heartened that the Republican presidency is talking to the new Congress leaders and that some of what is being talked about doesn't smack of scorched earth politics from one side or the other. And that as a favor to his own party, the President has decided to let Rumsfeld go.
Perhaps politicians on both sides of the newly moved aisle can both keep their heads and save their souls in the coming debates.
Things don't sound or feel so bleak as they did just a few weeks ago, and I'm not talking about liberals versus conservatives, I mean within the liberal and conservative camps. And the centrists. Of all strips and colors.
But especially purple.