I woke up this morning glad to have done the radio show on WTDY last night with Sly and Bill McCoshen, a Wisconsin Republican who will, hopefully, have a lot to say about the future of his party, but disappointed that I did not attend the parties where so many of my friends celebrated last night.
I was surprised at my own emotional response to the election of Barack Obama. I was more filled with wonderment about what the next four years will bring rather than joy over his election. Perhaps it was the projections that he was going to win that took the edge off the victory.
In any case, for the first time in my lifetime, and that includes the election of JFK in 1960, or my years as mayor when Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton were elected, I am truly excited about the future and the unknown possibilities for our nation and the world. The economy and the wars will prevent any immediate social change, but it is coming.
The engagement of so many young people of so many different colors in this election holds more hope for the future. Voting is the first level of civic engagement. With persistence and hard work, hopefully they will stay engaged by running for office themselves, getting involved in their children's' education, and voting in subsequent local and state elections.
- I missed the gathering of the supporters of the Madison school referendum which won by a large margin, putting to rest the myth that there is some kind of secret plot by the supporters of public education to place these measures on the ballot when turnout is low.
- The Democrats took control of the Wisconsin Assembly. Marc Pocan gets a big thank you for adopting a "50 state" strategy and finding great Democratic candidates in as many Assembly districts as possible.
- Perhaps the biggest local disappointment was the apparent defeat of outstanding Trish O'Neil in the 47th District. She was the victim of one of the nastiest television advertisements this election season.
- While Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC) was defanged, it is evident that extreme right-wing money and energy was shifted to outside groups like Coalition for America's Families, the Club for Growth and All Children Matter which continues to produce WMC-style attack ads.
- In Oshkosh, Gordon Hintz was returned for a second term to the Assembly's 54th district with 66% of the vote. Keep an eye on him. Here is a legislator who is effective, principled, and a nice guy.
- The biggest Midwest disappointment was Al Franken's apparent loss to incumbent Republican Norm Coleman in the Minnesota US Senate race. Franken would have made a great senator and Coleman is an opportunistic jerk. Coleman has some serious ethical problems in casting future votes regarding the financial bailout which he supported, since AIG put $25 million into the US Chamber of Commerce over a five year period and then the right wing business group spent a hefty sum in his support.
Best news from the left coast: As of this posting, it appears that same sex marriage survives in Californian. Barely. Update 2:42 UGH
- Those who checked in here last night can see from my solitary post that it is too difficult to do live radio and blog simultaneously.
- Congratulations to the high school students who got involved in the school referendum and and all of the electoral races even though they will not vote for a few more years.
- I suppose my nice introduction of Bill McCoshen, above, will get back to the social conservatives and doom him as an influential leader in fixing the Republican Party. With moderate business leaders estranged from their party, and Democrats in control of both houses of the legislature and the Governor's office, they have no place to go. Now is the time for the Democrats to reach out and form a coalition of labor, business, and education leaders to fix and fund education from kindergarten through college in Wisconsin.
Guilty pleasure I will pass on today - No right wing Milwaukee talk radio; I have too much work to do and it will be more fun spending the spare time chatting with friends.