Location: Cincinnati, Ohio

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Wunderbar election

Most of the students and I have been glued to our laptops watching the election from Germany. Those who are politically-inclined are as enthusiastic about the sweeping Democratic victory as I am. It is not so much what the Dems will be able to do now, since things are in such difficult straits, but that they will be able to apply the brakes to some of the more foolish and dangerous neo-conservative policies the Bush administration has adopted.

Germans who I have talked with are hoping that this will mean that a healing process can begin between the United States and Europe, and Germany in particular since Germany was one of the most outspoken opponents of the war in Iraq. While some clearly seem to be enjoying Bush getting a "thumping," most are just hopeful for more responsible behavior from the United States. It is like the US is a dear friend who has been engaged in self-destructive behavior but is now on the road to recovery once again.

I am taking special pleasure in the important role Montana has played in taking back the Senate. My refrain of "So goes Montana, so goes the nation," has brought some chuckles from my students. I've also provided a little Montana history lesson for those see Montana as a longtime Republican bastion. This is not the first time Montana will have two Democratic Senators. In the 1960s, Mike Mansfield and Lee Metcalf led the Dems and then John Melcher replaced Metcalf, Baucus replaced Mansfield, and this continued until 1988 when Burns won to be the first Republican Senator in many years. So actually, Montana has been traditionally Democratic leaning, not Republican.

If you would like to read some German reaction to the election, check out Spiegel International online. Their headline today was "George W. Who?"


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