Morning Report: November 8, 2006

US elections favor Democrats. Democrats won majority control of the House last night, and probably the Senate too although that's still up in the air. Here's a short roundup.

Democrats take US House of Representatives. Fox: 'The Democratic Party has captured the House of Representatives and is two extremely close races away from winning control of the U.S. Senate, as well. In Virginia, incumbent Republican Sen. George Allen was trailing Democratic challenger Jim Webb by only about 7,800 votes out of the more than 2.3 million cast, with indications the final outcome might not be known for days, and could lead to legal challenges. Republican and Democrat party officials dispatched lawyers to Virginia to observe the continuing tally Wednesday morning of uncounted absentee ballots, as well as canvass votes counted on Election Day.' (Fox)

Lieberman wins in Connecticut. So, is it still a referendum on the Iraq war? That's what the media have been telling us about the Lieberman-Lamont senate race. Here's the Hartford Courant: 'Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman won re-election Tuesday night as a man without a party, overcoming the virulent anti-war sentiment that had cost him the Democratic nomination in August. With a $17.5 million war chest and Republican support, Lieberman rebounded to defeat Democrat Ned Lamont, a businessman who spent $16 million of his own fortune to challenge a co-author of the resolution authorizing the U.S. invasion of Iraq. A triumphant Lieberman offered no conciliatory words to the Democrats who abandoned him over Iraq, calling his election a victory of "the mainstream over the extreme." "We never wavered in our beliefs or in our purpose, did we?" Lieberman said. "And we never gave up, did we?"' Free Frank Warner: 'However the final count goes in yesterday’s U.S. Senate races, Sen. Joe Lieberman will make all the difference. Without Lieberman, the Democrats would have 49 or 50 of the Senate’s 100 votes. With Lieberman, they’ll have 50 or 51 votes. Without Lieberman, the Democrats would be tempted to abandon Iraq. With Lieberman, they’ll stick to the liberal cause of Iraq’s liberation.' (Courant, FFW)

South Dakota rejects abortion ban. MSNBC makes it short and sweet: 'In a triple setback for conservatives, South Dakotans rejected a law that would have banned virtually all abortions, Arizona became the first state to defeat an amendment to ban gay marriage and Missouri approved a measure backing stem cell research.' Feministe: 'The margin, according to CNN, is 44% in favor, 56% opposed. Much closer than I would have liked, but South Dakota is a red state and overturning an act of the legislature is not inconsequential.' (MSNBC, Feministe)

Arizona rejects gay marriage ban, seven other states approve. Gay.com: 'Arizona on Tuesday became the first state ever to defeat a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage by popular vote, as returns showed the anti-gay proposal losing. With nearly all precincts reporting, the ban was defeated, 51 percent to 49 percent. Amendments to ban same-sex marriage won approval Tuesday in Colorado, Idaho, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin, seven of the eight states with the issue on the ballot.' (Gay.com)

Commentary. The Belmont Club: 'The coming months will be ones of great opportunity. Reality provides one very powerful service: it shows what does not work. And it provides clues to what will work. A lot of the effort should consist of thinking out approaches from first principles. One obvious effect will be to shrivel the deadwood -- intellectual and otherwise -- out of the way. We are all free in a way that we couldn't otherwise be without today.'

Exactly. I haven't been stressing the election (though I'll admit to stressing over it) because what matters in the long run is the basics: the world of values, ideas, and information. The war against terrorists and fascists in the Middle East, and their enablers in the Western media and academia, will continue. All of us have a part to play. Last night's setback for the Republicans means we'll have to work a little harder. So let's get to it.