Sigh.

Samhain                                        Waning Harvest Moon

First the Vikings, now the Democrats.  Geez.

As I said a while back, the political scene, long a part of my life, a passionate part, has begun to recede for me.  I see this by-election as a cyclical matter, not a rejection of Obama and progressive ideas, but a cry of pain from people injured the great recession.  An angry elephant has stomped through the polls this November election day, an elephant moving with great feeling, a powerful force in politics.  Yes, this will slow down Obama’s progressive agenda.  He will have to work in a more measured, less dramatic way, but, as I’ve read more than one place, that may well be to his advantage in 2012.

(I’d be happier if I watched the election returns on Ka’anapali beach.)

It is not so much a time to wonder what went wrong from a Democratic perspective, as it is a time to reconsider how communicating the gains of the past two years has fallen so far short.  It is a time to consider how to pursue the great issues yet unaddressed, like climate change and immigration, in the small ways that will lay the base for further work in the 2012 Congress.  I went into this election proud of my leftist politics and I remain so.  Over time movements toward greater equality erode the opposition, witness the number of conservative women running in this election.  Over time matters of mutual care and compassion like Social Security, Medicare and now the National Health Care legislation become new bricks in a solid foundation for all Americans, rich and poor.  The economy will right itself and the timing of recovery matters more politically than it should, because the tools used to massage the economy are gross and work only over time.

So, we’ll have to learn how to work with a whole new legislative alignment.  That’s the nature of politics.  This is still a center/right country, so we have to be glad when we have the chance to make progress, philosophical when we can’t.

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