I've heard and read a number of different analyses on the 2006 election results. A wide range of opinions are available with a varied of spectrum to choose from depending on who's spinning who. It shapes up something like this: The House Republicans blame the President for not firing Rumsfeld sooner; the Evangelicals say the incumbent Republicans didn't support "values voters" who as a result they say, didn't show up in sufficient numbers to retain the GOP majority; Republican pundits blame the miscalculations of Karl Rove; Donald Rumsfeld says,"...the situation in Iraq is too complex for Americans to understand"; the President blames the American electorate for not comprehending what he calls, "the importance of taxes and security". So, according to the powers that were, We The People are too stupid, immoral, and obsessed with a single member of the Bush administration that believes his incompetently prosecuted war is too much for the average person to grasp and for all these reasons, we the voters, were unable to come to the right decision in the midterm elections.
When republicans talk about or rather, avoid the "culture of corruption " issue, they frame it as a "few bad apples" without acknowledging the huge deficit-producing, GOP-fueled pork bills that went unvetoed and the overwhelming preponderance of corporate interests in the senate chamber and K Street, the protection of GOP members over safe-guarding our children, the absolute unwillingness to exercise any oversight, the unfathomable shredding of the Constitution and Habeas Corpus, the stunning permission to torture and 'round-up' American citizens without charge plus a laundry list too long to repeat item for item.
The GOP also keeps telling us to "put the election behind us" their favorite party line anytime they screw things up, or get caught with their pants down. GOP pundits are also trying to push the notion that this election is "average" historically in terms of the 6th year of presidency, or "nothing special" in terms of turnout and turnover of seats. Simply said, poppycock.
A NYT's reader, Robert Passman of Silver Spring, Md., says it well in his Letter to the Editor: "A return to the arrogance and ignorance that has characterized this administration for six years may very well be more disastrous two years from now. Characterizing millions of Americans who have served their country and who recognize the administration’s failures, as cowards and idiots isn’t very bright. I don’t care which party has control of the executive or legislative branches of government if it acts intelligently and in the interests of all Americans. Mr. Bush can’t make that transition."
Anyone recall the crowing from the Republicans about how they would maintain dominance far into the future, comments as recently as this year? Republicans were certain that their sophisticated gerrymandering was so clever that dominance in the future was a slam dunk — just like those W.M.D.’s in Iraq.
The GOP was at the top of its game, Chris Bowers says: "Republicans broke all of their fundraising and voter contact records this year. They had better maps than ever before. They had a better opportunity to pass whatever legislation they liked than every before. And they were still crushed."
The Democrats haven't been much better in their analysis of the election.
The DCCC's Rahm Emmanuel takes the credit for the sweep in the house. His choice to back "conservative Democrats" with the DCCC machine politics and money say to him, "I made the correct choice." And the calls from 'prominent' Democrats for the ousting of Howard Dean as DNC chairman, and for Nancy Pelosi to "tread lightly" are not only incorrect but are certainly not what the American electorate says it showed up for. It's the war/occupation in Iraq and the GOP corruption, stupid. [Link to CNN's "Broken Government"]
After much reading and critical thinking on a number of articles the conclusion to be drawn from the higher-than average turnout, the highest seat turnover since 1974, the most senate seats won in a single cycle, the youth vote its highest in 20 years with 10 million turning out to "rock the vote", women voting 55% to men's 45% and voting 63% for Democrats, The GOP not gaining a single Governership, House, or Senate seat, 'the geographic shift' which is for the first time in 54 years the ruling majority won without a southern majority, the evangelical turnout being slightly higher than it was in 2004 but was 34% lower for Republicans and Independents voted for Democrats at a greater rate than ever before, the conclusion can only be that Democrats, Independents, and Republicans alike turned out at this record event election because finally, finally it would appear we've Had Enough.