By any measure — except the inflated spin of Republican commentators who tried to move the goalposts — this is an historic victory for the Democratic party, even if they don't end up with a Senate majority. They have a real margin in the House, and picked up several governorships.
More importantly, the candidates elected to the House and Senate are by and large much smarter and more progressive than any entering class since 1994.
What does it mean? I think it means three things:
- Voters gave Democrats a mandate for change and accountability. Or to put it more bluntly, the people decided that an intervention was needed for this administration.
- The pocketbook is back as an issue: just talking about tax cuts is no longer a winning strategy. America looked in its wallet and purses, saw that the tax cuts weren’t there – and neither were any raises.
- And, post-Katrina and Iraq, people are warming to the idea that incompetent government is a bad thing – and that good government might just be worth paying for.