03 November 2010

Sanity in the West

I have pretty much avoided election night coverage, but I flicked on the computer after midnight here in Los Angeles to see how bad a night it was. Pretty bad. I will have some comments on what lessons Democrats must not take from this bruising rebuke from most of America, later.

But right now I can't help but note that, by and large, the West Coast has not shared in the bacchanal of self-destructiveness. We elected a Democratic governor in California, and refused selfish CEO types not only that office but a Senate seat. And, while everywhere else polls seemed to prove true, or even underestimated the strength of the know-nothing surge, in Nevada, sanity prevailed and that crazy woman Angle was defeated.

UPDATE: As my friend and colleague Christina put it (paraphrasing a little), the great Red Tsunami swept across America from East to West last night, but then crashed against the Sierra Nevada, and was spent.

I haven't seen any demographics, but I'd lay money that the Republicans did very well in California among Anglo voters. It was the Latino vote, which has become overwhelmingly Democratic and which actually turns out in pretty good numbers, that made this a good night for our party in California.

Progressive politics will have a rough time in the next couple of years, but I am not completely disheartened. This is exactly what it looks like: a backlash. This mood will pass. Much damage has been done, and will take time to repair. But in time, I'm hopeful, some semblance of reason will dawn on the great slow mind of the American electorate.

Were he alive today, I'm sure Mencken would have some choice gems of wit. All I can offer is that this is bad, but it will get better.

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