A day or so ago I shared personal experiences suggesting a long-awaited positive and progressive sense of optimism. Happily, yesterday’s election and primaries lend credibility to my sense that there is a positive trend in support of an issues-driven, progressive agenda.
The message of hope and change was largely responsible for the election of Barack Obama. People were happy, indeed giddy with optimism, about coming change. Whether it was about Lily Ledbetter (relatively small, excuse me) or Health Care Reform (big), Obama’s presidency has been all about change–and, unfortunately, resistance to change. But ‘change’ was characterized as engaging and positive.
An election victory in Pennsylvania (Critz) and important primaries in PA (Sestak) and Arkansas (Halter) bode well for the mid-term elections. However, the demand for change now rides on a platform of anger and negativity.
In each case, election or primary, the key was turnout. People voted. People expressed their concern. And, it appears, that change is coming. A good sign for progressives. Even in Kentucky, progressives come out ahead in the long term because a wingnut libertarian is pushing the Republican Party further to the right. Each primary was a plus for progressives.
Halter is a thoughtful and strong candidate, pushing conservative Dem Lincoln to a head-to-head run-off that, I think, favors Halter; payback for her vote against health care reform (and her progressive position on finance reform is a wolf in lamb’s clothing). Critz is a competent guy, winning in a very conservative region; does this negate some of the concerns derivative of recent conservative victories? Specter cast his Supreme Court votes for extremely conservative justices. Good riddance. Rand Paul prevailed against the guy strongly backed by Mitch McConnell and Dick Cheney (heh, heh); for the moment, I thank him. Paul will lose in the general election given his too frequent statement of off-the-wall positions.
At least for the coming weeks, there will be fewer tailing heads spreading word that the Republicans will make significant advances in Congress.
So as I said yesterday, a breath of fresh air is emerging and circulating. . . Malaise and fatigue have permeated the air for too long. Progressives need to start feeling good and show renewed energy.
Perhaps we can. Feelin’ good. Yes We Can! Yes We Will!