The election results are a bit of a downer if you lean a bit right of the political center. Nationwide, the Democrats swept through, taking seats the Republicans had failed to keep.
The trend continued in our own back yard. Democrat Sen. Maria Cantwell won a second term by a strong majority of 56 percent. Her Republican opponent, Mike McGa-vick, prevailed during the debates between him, Cantwell and Libertarian Bruce Guthrie. McGavick seemed like a smart statesman equipped for high office, reminiscent of George H.W. Bush.
Despite his debate performance, McGavick failed to pick up on Cantwell's weak points and ran an ineffective campaign. Running on a campaign of "bringing civility back to Washington," it seemed he took more time criticizing the political atmosphere in Washington state than the record of the senator he was running against.
McGavick maintained his civility in his concession speech, urging his audience to give Cantwell a round of applause. There were no tears in his eyes or any look of anger, and he seemed just as positive and happy as he did at the beginning of this campaign. Either McGavick is just a really happy guy, or he's a darn-good actor.
As I continued watching the election returns on television, talk of all the Democrats who could become chairpeople of committees made me hesitant.
U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott, who represents our state's 7th District, could find himself chairperson of the House Ways and Means Committee.
I respect him for having taken a stand on the genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan, an issue that is being largely ignored by too many, but that's as far as my support of McDermott will go. McDermott is a part of the left that looks at Europe's economic policies with envy and wants to institute them here.
In Europe, many countries have unemployment rates in the double digits. Recently, the House Ways and Means Committee reported that in October, unemployment in the United States was at a five-year low, at only 4.4 percent. This is a result of the Republican economic policies of the last few years, with tax cuts helping to boost the economy.
McDermott has never pretended to like tax cuts, so it seems that all of the economic progress we managed to produce since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks would have thrown away by McDermott.
Only the results will tell...
It didn't turn out all bad. Let's consider the 8th District race.
Despite a flow of ads making him out to be a drone following President Bush's marching orders, Dave Reichert is maintaining a decent lead over his Democratic opponent Darcy Burner.
It still remains too close to call there. With increased use of absentee voting, the results are taking longer to verify. For the sake of the 8th District voters, however, we can only hope that the results come in sooner rather than later. The last thing we need is a repeat of the 2004 governor's race brouhaha.
While Democratic candidates plowed through this year, what the results of the 2006 election mean in the long run is anyone's guess. These next few years sure will be interesting.
Madison Valley resident Michael Powell can be reached at email@example.com.[[In-content Ad]]