Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Building Stone Walls: Democrats Begin to Win


By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Looks like the sun is rising in the East at last, the Winter of our Discontents is being disgorged. The Democrats did quite well in the off-cycle elections. It is a slow process, rebuilding our walls. For our party is like a dry stone wall: porous but substantial, haphazard yet long lasting.

From Daily Kos:
Intelligent designers on Dover school board were swept out en masse by the city's voters. Eight sane Dems swept out eight crazy fundamentalists.
In Tucson Arizona, Dems took out two Republicans and reverted the city council to Democratic control. In Washington State, a measure closely watched by anti-tax zealots to repeal Washington's fuel tax was narrowly defeated.

In Maine (as noted already), an anti-gay ballot initiative actually failed. That's something you don't see every day. An anti-gay marriage amendment in Texas passed easily (even though it may hilariously invalidate every marriage).

In both New Jersey and Virginia Democrats gained seats in the state legislatures. Bush actually lent some of that "political capital" to Virginia's Kilgore, for all the good (and probable harm) it did. Let's hope more and more Republicans decide to let Bush campaign for them. Heck, the Democratic Party should pay Bush's political travel expenses, since they will clearly help us more than their own guys. California is a disaster of epic proportions for Arnold. How long before rumors about Arnold's retirement crop up? (And no, I haven't heard any. Yet.)

Republicans have very little to cheer about this election. They soundly defeated reform efforts in Ohio and they held on to the NYC mayorship. Retaking NYC would've been the "cherry on top" of this election, but whatever. No one ever wins them all.
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.
Unlike the Daily Kos, this blog isn't a pure "all Democrats all the time" site, it is my own place and I have some rather odd as well as wide opinions and political urges (definitely to the far left but some not leftist at all!) but I do say, any political system that ends up being one party politics always ends up in massive failures and corruptions. This is why having more than one strong party is healthy.

Our party is like a stone wall: anyone can be in it, small or huge, there is little to cement this wall so it never changes. Instead, it is one rock at a time, picked up and placed wherever there is a chink to be filled. Builders of walls in the Northeast know that if you make a wall very nonporous, its will eventally collapse due to the freeze/thaw cycles. A loose stone wall rises and falls with the freeze/thaw cycle. Water can't build up behind it during the spring, it perculates out as it rises. When the dirt is shoved around by the forces of nature, it simply fills in the empty spaces between the rocks.

I see 200+ year old stone walls and piles all over the woods here, remnants of haymaking when the forests were cleared and desperate farmers removed the glacial till, one rock at a time. Often, they were simply dropped off at the perimeter of the fields. The trees growing amongst these rock barriers could grow freely since as the tree expands, the rocks simply roll aside. I have giant oak trees on my perimeter that are surrounded by high mounds of white marble rocks. The state decided to hold back on section of mountainside on Rt 22 and they laid down big interlocking cement barriers that looked really strong for about 10 years. But the cement is eroding and already, one spring has totally destroyed an entire section, blowing out the cement barrier. In another 25 years much of this barrier will be dust or cock-a-block ruins.

This is the problem with many things like the levees built in New Orleans. The modern style of making big cement barriers fails because it isn't elastic enough to take the tremlors of waves hitting the continental shelf during great hurricanes. To weather winter or vast storms requires flexibility as well as strength.

NYC is still being run by a Republican mayor because the Democrats had power too long. I used to fight them all the time, when it was wall to wall Democrats. The Republicans need to be stronger in NYC while in Texas, the reverse. The fact that Texas' Republicans want a monopoly on power goes directly to their woes in the world: they are hopelessly corrupt and play politics with a tin ear. The artificial power in Texas discourages minority voters and warps that vital core of democracy: to get a consensus. For if people feel disenfranchised, they have ways of being heard, ask the French!

We have seen this here, too, in the past! We lost some major cities this year thanks to violent storms, do we want to lose even more to violent apolitical riots due to frustration and rage?

From Atrios' comments section is some funny stuff picked up from all over the place such as this:
:another gem from david gregory: he was speaking to a republican congressman, who told him he doesn't want bush campaigning for him next year. hahahaha
bkny | 11.09.05 - 7:21 am | #

Ed Rollins, Republican strategist on CNN:

"I don't see any messages in these elections. If anything, the message to Republicans is they need to get their acts together."

Talk about your non-denial denials!
Litz | Email | 11.09.05 - 7:24 am | #

So let's pick up a stone, each of us, and lay them down in a straight wall, fill in the chinks and let nature work with us, not against us.

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