They Can Win, But Can They Lead?

When the hangovers wear off, the victors will have to figure out what to do with the spoils. It’s going to be tempting to begin investigations of everything that’s gone on the last six years, from Iraq to energy policy. There is sleaze and sex, topped off with a lemony twist of incompetence, and oh how tempting that cocktail will be.

But governing is not the same as campaigning. And Democrats won because the Republicans were haughty and stupid. But the opposite of haughty and stupid is not more hubris and stupidity. And the truth is, when you look closely at the numbers, this Democratic sweep is only the tilting of the very middle of the middle towards the Democratic side. Right now it’s 49-49 in the Senate, and the last two races have a margin of victory so small that it can in no way be called a mandate. Perhaps the middle of the middle simply shrugged and pushed the Democratic button with a “what the hell, it couldn’t be worse” shrug.

As for South Carolina, things look pretty much like they did before the election. Right now, it looks like Rex is ahead of Floyd by 217 votes, so that race may be in recount territory. That just goes to show that the red-blue divide is as deep as ever. We are a divided state in a divided nation. What we need from the newly elected is a commitment to reweave the social fabric, to put the stars and stripes back where we have placed elephants and donkeys, to lead all the people, not just 50.001% of them.

Is that too much to ask?

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