I was emotionally prepared for yesterday's bloodbath. So here, I offer the naive optimism that I am using to get through this. I am not willing to wallow. I can't know what it feels like for those of you in places where the local elections might cause big changes. But on a national scale, I offer optimism.
WEEP NOT FOR THE SENATE. We knew this was coming.
-The Republicans won seats, but not because the country is more conservative. Through a bunch of numbers working out perfectly for them, there were easy elections and few incumbents in these battleground elections.
-Most presidents who makes it to their sixth year lose seats in Congress for their party. This is pretty much par for the course.
-The Republicans have a majority, but not a huge one. There are enough Republicans in the Senate who do not vote along their party lines in cases of conservative extremism. There are no guarantees for them. It's not good for the Democrats, but it could easily be more years of stalemate.
-They cannot repeal Obamacare, send us to or pull us out of war (without the help of Democrats & the President).
-WE HAVE THE VETO. WE STILL HAVE THE VETO. (Now let's just hope he uses it)
-Utah Republicans elected a black woman to the House. While I am perplexed about her, and I very much disagree with her politics, I cannot help but feel good about there being more diversity in Congress. We need more women and more people of color being taken seriously by those stale assholes in Congress; normalizing women of color as leaders can only be good.
-Wendy Davis won among Texans under the age of 45. This is HUGE.
-Weed! Legalization is creeping up to be ever more common. A victory for medical choices and personal freedom, but even more importantly, a victory against a biased prison system.
-Two largely conservative states voted to raise the minimum wage. Wat.
-Idealistically, the conservative talking points have softened since our last few election cycles; much less demonizing poor & minorities, much less talk about women's sex lives (although our rights are still very much under fire). The vitriol spouted has calmed. This is not going to lead to any short term progress, because I know they were just trying to get elected; but I fully believe it is an indicator of an ideal shift among voters. I think the Tea Party is dying. Darkly, I wanted the Republican party to succumb to it and just die out, but the dangers if Tea Partiers were really in power scares me too much to risk that.
I am sorry that this hasn't worked out for us. I hate those weasel Republicans. I fear for my rights as a woman, for the plight of the underprivileged, for the future of education and for the condition of our environment. But we are going to be OK for the next two years, and I have hope for election cycles to come.