It was a fantastic week. Family Musing is still relishing the Democratic victories, both in Congress and in statehouses around the country. The next two years will be fascinating to watch; it looks like the Dem team has some very good ideas and the will to move forward on them.
Before the 2006 election fades from memory, there are some things that should be focused on and corrected. I hope that the new Congress makes election reform one of its important agenda items. Issues of electronic voting machine problems and voter supression must be fixed to make future ellections fair and open to all. No one should have to worry that their vote might not be counted or that they might not be able to vote at all.
There's one dirty little trick the Republicans tried extensively this time around - flooding close races with robo-calls to turn voters off to Democratic candidates. You've probably read about this sleezy scheme. A recorded message begins "Hi, I'm calling with information about (Democratic candidate name)." The message goes on to give a negative message about that candidate. If the person hangs up when they realize it's a political call, the robot calls back again and again. The voter is left thinking they're being harrassed by the Democratic candidate. Only if they listen to the entire message do they learn that the message actually comes from the Republicans. Here's a post at tpmmuckraker.com examining the effect this technique may have had on several close races.
Rick Perlstein at The American Prospect has written a good article about this issue. It's hard to read because I want our elections to be decided by the issues, not dirty tricks. I hope that something gets done before 2008 to stop this.
I'd be just as happy if all recorded calls were banned. While none of these robo-calls happened to me, we did get several recorded calls from big name Democrats that were a nuisance. I did not need to hear from Al Gore or Bill Clinton to know how I was going to vote on the various issues.