It appears that Democrats also pulled off monumental upsets in Virginia and Missouri, likely giving them a 51-49 lead in the Senate. The president has proven all too willing to ignore the public good and the nation’s laws to promote a hard-right social and economic agenda and the dubious idea of a unitary executive. The prospect of Democratic control in both chambers of Congress offers a chance to restore oversight to the executive branch and put this country on a more responsible path.
Closer to home, state Democrats logged their own victories. Despite spending $35 million of his own fortune in his campaign, Republican gubernatorial candidate Dick DeVos failed to buy himself a victory. Democrats also seized control of the state House for the first time in eight years. A stronger Democratic presence in the Legislature will be an important tool as Gov. Jennifer Granholm takes on initiatives to expand access to health care and education – and as she tries to fill a $1.9-billion hole in the general fund left by the repeal of the Single Business Tax.
Still, term limits and carefully gerrymandered districts have left the state Legislature bitterly divided along party lines in recent years. Given the necessity of addressing the state’s ongoing economic malaise, though, the state can no longer afford such partisan squabbles. Now that Democrats are more solidly in power, we hope they’ll find a way to get things done.