Razor-thin still cuts it

A Democratic victory in both houses by even small margins would be a big deal, however the opposition might spin it.

Scott Rosenberg
November 8, 2006 8:25PM (UTC)

It now seems conceivable, though one hates to invoke a jinx, that the Democrats might take the Senate as well as the House. If they do, it will be by the thinnest of margins -- a few thousand votes in Virginia, perhaps, and something similar in Montana.

And if that happens, we can be sure that we will hear, from both the GOP's spin brigades and their friends in the media, that a Democratic victory by such tiny margins isn't that big a deal, and that the Democrats better watch it, and behave.


At that moment, listeners should flash back to recent political history's most infamous close election: Florida 2000. The entire edifice of the Bush administration has always rested on the thinnest of hotly disputed margins. That meager foundation never seemed to stand in the way of the GOP's maximalist efforts.

Should the Democrats end up in control of both houses of Congress, sure, they should work professionally with the opposition to "solve the nation's problems" -- to use the dutiful formulation of the career politician. But they shouldn't let the closeness of their possible win clip their wings.

A victory is a victory -- an "accountability moment," indeed! A sweep of two houses would indeed be a sweep of two houses, and a mandate lies wherever and whenever voters give you a win that gives you clout.

Scott Rosenberg

Salon co-founder Scott Rosenberg is director of MediaBugs.org. He is the author of "Say Everything" and Dreaming in Code and blogs at Wordyard.com.

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