Parting Gifts

If there’s one thing we’ve got to remember about democracy, it’s that you can’t have everything. If there’s one thing we’ll remember about Bob Taft, it’s that he screwed Ohio Republicans running in 2006. It’s extra disappointing for the other guys to win because of how silly your incumbents made you look.

DeWine lost his senate seat. Blackwell lost the race for governor. Although I was hopeful about both candidates (in DeWine’s case, only in a “he’s not nearly as bad as Sherrod Brown” sense), recent polls made their losses pretty unsurprising. What did surprise me this morning was the way just about every other vote I made was in the minority, too.

Lagging economy? Raise the minimum wage, with increases tied to the consumer price index every year hence! Columbus taxes too high? Boot the only Republican incumbent for another Democrat! Secretary of State’s office making huge improvements in transparency and efficiency under Republican control? Who cares, we’re on a roll pushing the D’s here! Time for a change, indeed. Let’s hope Deborah Pryce at least pulls off a save; there are few political consolations like knowing MoveOn.org wasted lots and lots of advertising cash.

Yeah, the Democrats cleaned up in Ohio. I suppose congratulations are due, even for victories won by virtue of not being the other guy. The Dispatch is predictably delighted about how the state is suddenly blue:

Overnight, voters who had handed President Bush another term just two years ago angrily sent him a message by turning Ohio, the national electoral gem, from red to blue.

– although the Ohio House and Senate remain under Republican control. At least a couple Dispatch guys can be joyously quoted at Daily Kos et al as Taft’s reign of crappiness clatters into the twilight. Will my fellow citizens wake up if the fresh faces spend the next couple years prattling on about impeachment and micromanaging us into their own little People’s Republic of Leftism?

If yesterday’s Democratic turnout and Independent abandonment snap the state party out of this funk and back to solid conservative principles, all the better. If Columbus is in fact becoming more like Cleveland… boo. But the blue boys and girls won their turn fair and square, so I hope for Ohio’s sake they don’t squander it as so many of our Republicans did.

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