26 October 2006

Every Seat Is Sacred

Nothing surprising, nor even particularly noteworthy, in this morning's Globe editorial, in which they endorse the five Democratic candidates for the US House that are actually facing competition. The piece does go so far as to imply that it really wouldn't matter whether or not they were facing Republican challengers worth considering, the specter of continued Republican control of the House would be reason enough to vote Democratic. While there is no chance I would consider voting for any Republican for precisely that reason, it's nice to hear that sentiment in the local paper.

Along those lines, The New York Times recommended voting against Republican Chris Shays, whom they've endorsed in every other election. Shays, once a moderate Republican who worked across party lines and lived in reality, has recently called Abu Ghraib "a sex ring" rather than torture and made other comments that have demonstrated just how out of touch he and his party are. His opponent is Diane Farrell and she's put up a hell of a fight; Farrell has a chance to win this race and Democrats need every seat they can in order to win a majority or more.

Democrats --- or at least individual Democratic candidates --- have seized the moment and the momentum from a disastrous decade of Republican Congressional rule. Our candidates, across the nation, are running to represent their districts with honesty and integrity, with their constituents best interest at heart, rather than their own wallets. We have veterans of wars, political neophytes and even former Republicans campaigning under our banner this fall. While some of them may be a little less committed to progressive issues than I'd like, they are running for their district and not me. Their potential presence in Washington, however, does effect me, as it could mean a new Democratic majority and the end of Republican non-oversight of the Federal Government and thier dangerous domestic and foreign policy.

No matter where you are this fall, voting Democrat is a vote for engaged government, safe and healthy people at home, peace and security abroad, a better today and an even better tomorrow. There is a chance, for what feels like the first time in a long time (certainly since I began voting), to make an honest-to-God change in the way this country is governed. I find myself looking forward to next Tuesday not with my usual fear and loathing, like a test for which I have not studied, but with a quiet excitement and anticipation, like waiting in the airport for my girlfriend to come home. I think I'll make up a sign: "WELCOME HOME RATIONAL GOVERNMENT FOR THE PEOPLE!" Hopefully, it gets off the plane Tuesday night; I sure have missed it.

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