Friday, November 07, 2008

An Important Win

Obama won so overwhelmingly in large part because of Howard Dean's 50 state strategy as chairman of the national Democratic party. After the Democrats romped in the 2006 elections, James Carville and a couple of allies called for Dean to be replaced because they didn't do even better. Democratic state leaders from all over the country rallied to Dean's support, and Carville fell on his face. Hillary was the DLC dog in this race, and Obama the one who stopped them. It is cynical and probably mistaken to assume that Obama is in DLC's pocket just because of a few appointments. To dismiss Obama and Dean's victory over the DLC is to miss or ignore a pretty important aspect of contemporary Amercan political history. Some have argued strongly if cynically that Obama is essentially a neoliberal barely distinguishable from the Clintons -- a position which itself is barely distinguishable from ISO's. (They said the same thing about Edwards.)

But it appears most people think Obama's victory including 3 Southern states (Virginia, Florida and NC) and 3 Western (Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico), the defeats of Sununu and Dole, the election of 2 Udalls to the Senate, and on and on, signals a significant departure potentially analogous to Roosevelt's New Deal. Is it our sad niche to stand aside and say, "We know better than all of you. Don't get your hopes up, the game is fixed"? Again, ISO does that to perfection. And they're wrong - and profoundly un-democratic.

On election day, a Queens race proved to be the fulcrum for flipping the NY state senate democratic for the first time in almost 50 years as Republican incumbent Serphim Maltese lost 58-42 to Dem-WFP Joe Addabbo Jr.. Control of the state senate [still in limbo] will result in progressive taxation, repeal of the Rockefeller drug laws, repealing vacancy decontrol for one million regulated NYC apartments, nonpartisan (or less partisan) redistricting, campaign finance reforms and other interim victories which will strengthen the Left and make future victories more likely.
Kenny Schaeffer . NYC.
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