I had expected that there would be a deluge of other people writing about the election, so I wasn’t going to bother, but I’ve actually been rather surprised by how quiet everyone has been. Also, It Affects You seems to be down (domain expired), so I’ll inflict my thoughts on people here. First, let’s look at what happened yesterday.

  • The Democrats took control of the House.
  • The Senate is at 50D vs. 49R with one independent and two contested races. In both of those races, the Democrats – Webb in Virginia and Tester in Montana – have the upper hand. If those results hold, and if Joe Lieberman keeps his (generally unreliable) word to caucus with the Democrats, that gives them control of the Senate as well.
  • In Massachusetts, Democrat Deval Patrick is our new governor, and we won’t be able to buy wine at grocery stores.

The interesting one of these is the Senate. Personally I think it’s ridiculous that the Democrats have to get 51 Senate seats to gain control. Of course, I also think it’s obscene that the way committees and so on work makes having the majority so important, but that’s a topic for another day. Nobody has a majority of seats in the Senate, so what do we use as a tiebreaker? Giving that power to whoever holds the executive branch seems like a ridiculous idea. Were the people who wrote the Constitution just tired by the time they got around to considering such possibilities, so that they just couldn’t be bothered thinking it through? Personally I think this is a good opportunity to let the people of D.C. have a voice in the Senate. Failing that, the party with either a plurality of seats or a majority of the popular vote in the most recent election – Democrats in both cases, this time – should win the tie. Oh well. Just another “charming anachronism” in our non-system of government.