Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Specters Beware!

So I'm back here writing, this time post-election and looking at the changing Senate. Arlen Specter has now been retired by the Democratic voters within the state of Pennsylvania and not at the time that best suits him. Down in Arkansas Senator Lincoln was dealt a devastating blow by Bill Halter, but she still has a run-off to try and prevent a liberal from taking her place after years of serving at the behest of corporation instead of her constituency. North from there, Rand Paul, son of Ron, beat the Republican party's favorite to succeed Senator Bunning for the Republican nomination.

What does this all mean? Do we have a revolt against long-term politicians? Is everyone that's in bed with Wall Street and the rolodex of the Fortune 500 on their way out? Well one thing that is for sure, the faces, they are a changin'.

From RawStory:

Insurgent US Republican voters in Kentucky routed their party's establishment candidate and selected iconoclastic political outsider Rand Paul on Tuesday night, a clear show of anger at Washington ahead of November elections to decide control of the US Congress.

Similarly, Democrats in Pennsylvania appeared to have ended the political career of Sen. Arlen Specter, one of the state's best known politicians who became a Democrat after Obama's election in an effort to prolong his time in Congress.

Democrats also managed to hold onto the Pennsylvania congressional seat formerly held by deceased Rep. John Murtha with the victory of Mark Critz. The race was heavily watched and hyped as a predictor of voter mood in the lead-up to November's elections.

What it says, and to concur with what I mentioned yesterday morning, is that a small but dedicated bloc of voters can precipitate major changes. Reports of low voter turnout were a plenty and definitely not surprising. So in a nutshell, Americans have become extremely apathetic (even with the already low voter turnout rates from years past) and those that aren't have tremendous influence with their votes. And that is why the teabaggers get to celebrate a nominee they helped choose in Rand Paul. That is why liberals are enthused (myself among them) that Halter and Sestak did so well last night.

It just goes to show, if people wake up and participate in their government, their ability to effect change and use power is mind boggling.