Thursday, November 09, 2006

November 7th: A Great Day for America; A GOOD Day for Nebraska

by Kyle Michaelis
The results are in for the 2006 election. We all know about the massive gains by the Democratic Party nationally, as the Democrats swept back into power in both Houses of Congress. Yes, for the first time in 12 years, the People's House is back in the hands of the People's Party.

The New Nebraska Network wants to take a few moments to celebrate this fantastic and inspiring moment, with hopes that the Democratic Party will use its new majorities to govern with the decency and respect for democracy itself that has been so lacking during the Republican Party's power-tripping decade of corruption and abuse.

Neither bipartisan compromise nor a liberal agenda will serve the interests of the American public or the Democratic Party so much as restoring the basic integrity of our democratic institutions. That means respecting Republican representatives - welcoming their input and encouraging debate - setting a new tone that will prove to the American people they were right to put their faith in a Democratic Congress.

The Democratic Congress should not be afraid to stand for what they believe, but they must avoid the temptation to retaliate against the Republicans after years of petty insults. The fierce partisanship created by such an environment plays to the favor of the Republicans - always has, always will. The Democratic Party will succeed by offering a better, more principled alternative....and by making damn sure everyone knows how they're changing business-as-usual in Washington D.C.

We need more than a change in leadership. We need a new era in American politics. Getting there will require a strength of character and a faith in our ideals that few in power have ever had the courage to attempt. The reward, however, could be immeasurable - perhaps grounds for another 40 years of Democratic leadership that would never have been but for the harsh, ugly, but no less illuminating lessons of the last 12 years.

Democrats must rediscover their better selves. If they do so, the country will soon follow, and the possibilities will be endless.

And, that's all I have to say about that......which brings us to the election results here in Nebraska, about which there is plenty for every Nebraska citizen to be proud.

Not all we hoped. Not all we dreamed. But, progress was made - not only in terms of wins and losses but also in the hearts and minds of Nebraska voters.

There's certainly much to be said, and it will be said in time. Please be patient as the New Nebraska Network takes a little time over the next several days to digest the results and to hopefully play host to some important conversations before moving on to the next great challenges for our beloved state.


Anonymous James said...

When Tom Osborne is not on the ballot in an open 3rd district, history shows that the races have been tight—Ralph Beermann barely beat Lawrence Brock in 1960; Virgina Smith only beat Wayne Ziebarth by 737 votes; and Bill Barrett only got 51% of the vote in 1990.

When you look at those numbers it looks like Kleeb got beat pretty good – 55% to 45%. The state Democratic Party needs to step it up. For anyone to give them kudos over a 10 point loss in a historically tight open seat 3rd district—is simply just not looking at the facts.

Anonymous Ryan Anderson said...

Of course, the third district in 2006 is more Republican than it was in 1990 or 1974.

Kleeb ran a better race than we have any right to expect or demand in the third district anymore. If it hadn't been for the Republicans throwing everything they had at him for the crucial last week of the campaign I still believe we'd be talking about Congressman Scott Kleeb right now. I believe this race represents real progress for our party.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kleeb should have taken a harder stance against Iraq from the beginning and hammer Smith for being delusional in his belief that Iraq is going great.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live in Scottsbluff; here is how it works people. Once a point a time, a Democrat won this area and became governor. How did we do it? Well, in Scottsbluff, in order to survive your job and life, you must be a registered Republican; it is a matter of making survival. So, these Republicans got together in a grass root effort and in the primary voted for the "weakest Republican"; then, in the election voted for the Democrat to be governor. Glue to who he was? It was a grass roots effect with a plan. I just heard the same approach is going to be needed to unseat Musgrave in Colorado.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kleeb also could have easily registered as a convincing "Republican" and ran away with the seat. (Obviously he is finished in NE)

It is quite clear Heineman and Smith won their races in May

Blogger Kyle Michaelis said...

If Smith had won the race in May, I don't think we would have seen hundreds of thousands of dollars spent to destroy Scott Kleeb in the final week of the election. Nor would we have seen President George W. Bush visiting a District he'd won by over 50% in 2004 to rally the Republican base 40 hours before the polls opened.

I don't know what the future holds for Scott Kleeb. With the response he got nationally, I almost couldn't blame him if he pulled a Bob Kerrey and tried his hand at Hollywood. Of course, I hope he makes his life in Nebraska. A young man of his enormous talent and charisma would be an asset to this state no matter what he decided to do. But, if the voters of the Third District couldn't quite find the good sense to elect their own "Congressman McDreamy," Kleeb could certainly play him on TV.


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