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The Day AfterBy Susan Bush
12:00AM / Wednesday, November 08, 2006
It's high-fives all around this day-after-the-midterms morning in Democratic camps across the country. Control of the U.S. House of Representatives is theirs and there were gains in the U.S. Senate.
Incumbent Republicans were ousted, and a good number of political newcomers, including Massachusetts Governor-elect Deval Patrick and state Senator-elect Benjamin Downing, jubilantly shed monikers such as "challenger" and "longshot" to become "victors."
Some campaigns were run and won on a premise of change and a promise of unity. Some were controlled by smear and jeer tactics.
But today is Wednesday, Nov. 8, and the business of how to deliver on campaign vows must begin.
Iraq is a huge voter issue and newly-elected Dems are unlikely to find the arms and the mind of President George Bush open and welcoming. The election is over but some battles are just beginning.
Patrick will be the governor to see the state's health care program implemented.
The state health care mandate will forever be hitched to outgoing Gov. Mitt Romney's star, although Romney opted out before the difficult work of bringing the promise to the people really got underway.
If the plan fails, if it is perceived as too costly for middle and lower income citizens, it will be Patrick whose feet will be held to the fire.
It ain't fair, but it is politics.
The phrase "out with the old, in with the new" was tossed out repeatedly by election commentators throughout last night's televised national election coverage. And it is true that new faces have been elected in the hopes of new voices being heard and new ideas taking root. American voters spoke definitively from voting booths across the country: "Bring us change."
It is Nov. 8, 2006. This election is over. Now is the time to begin the work of making actions speak louder than words.
A Presidential election is just two years away and we the people are watching.
And what the voters have given, the voters can take away.
Susan Bush may be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 802-8239367.