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Democrats win big-cautious optimism

are waking up to very good news this morning. Our candidates won the governors’ races in New Jersey and Virgina. And the referendum questions in California have been defeated.
But opinion makers are cautioning against too much jubilation on the part of Democrats. At the very least, however, these results are a reflection of the general angry mood of the country. Voters registered their frustrations with the directions that the Right Wingers have been taking us. This is very bad news for Republican leaders at almost every level. According to Reuters News Service,

The outcome in conservative, Republican-leaning Virginia was a particularly bad blow for Bush, who stopped there on election eve for a get-out-the-vote rally with Kilgore. Bush’s mounting political problems and Kilgore’s poor showing could make Republicans hesitant to call on him for help next year. (full story at above title link)

This NYT story is an excellent summary of the potential implications for next year’s elections for the Democrats. From these victories I see that they might start the good momentum that will be necessary to make significant gains in 2006. However, I agree with Kos’ take on the election results. At the conclusion he says:

“But I have to say, while this beats the losing we’ve experiened the last couple of years, this is still quite unsatisfying. Let’s call it the appetizer.”

These are my feelings exactly. I am reluctant to be jubilant. Perhaps what accounts for my caution is thinking about what a long three years it will be until 2008. Our country will be forced to endure the continuing difficulty the Republicans have with governing. There will be far too many opportunities for my head to spin in disbelief at the next big thing that will be exposed.

This is the “what do you think about this” thread at TPM Cafe. These folks always have interesting opinions; California bloggers seem particularly pleased that “the people spoke” against Governor Schwarzenegger’s leadership.

In one of my recent posts Dems Opposition for the next 3 years, I laid out some ideas I think could be useful to keep in mind as we continue to encourage Democrats towards 2006 and 2008. They must unite and stand for ideas.

My list of possibilities:

  • Support the forgotten middle class.
  • Ask for sacrifices from the wealthy.
  • Remind critics that Republicans do not own patriotism.
  • Pay attention to jobs and the economy.
  • Propose solutions to ending the war in Iraq.
  • Fight for fiscal responsibility in government spending.
  • Expose wrong-doing by officials.
  • Exercise more Congressional oversight.
  • Create the climate for election victories in 2006.
  • Build the party’s grass roots organization.
  • Stay away from scandal; remember ethics.
  • Finish mending fences within the party.

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