The Dems win
United States Congress : Elections
Well - the mid-terms in the US, eh?
Democrats have taken over the house, by, it seems, putting forward conservative candidates. So the rightwards consensus in the US is still not shattered, and appears unlikely to be so. The 30-40% vote Bush till doomsday hardcore Republican vote is holding up - and of course, with a dedicated minority in a situation where turnouts are frequently low (I'd seen reports suggesting that only 47% would turnout for this election) you can see how you can cling on to supreme power quite easily.
This is a big test for the thin peice of paper theory, as espoused by Chomsky et. al - i.e. that only a thin peice of paper separates the two parties, but the width of that peice of paper makes for important differences, magnifed by power.
Will the new Democratic House (and possible senate) reverse the newly passed Torture provisions (unlikely, but will they try?). Will it put a stop to Bush's cunning memos of understanding - i.e. publishing a document stating what he understands and interperates by a law, effectivley enacting his own legislation and acting in the role properly assigned to the Supreme Court?
All in all, very little indeed will change, maybe an increase in the Federal minimum wage, maybe a chance to block the darker recesses of Bush's policies, who knows.
The real point is, that the democratic game is largely an illusion, the manoeuvrings between parties are an epiphenomenon on the stage of real social changes and movements, until peopel in the US change the way they see themselves and act, there isn't likely to be any great shifts in Washinton, neither. Glacial hegemonic change may occur, and ten years down the line you'd be able to look and see the differences made.
Democracy is a conservative old beast. In the meantime, the choice for radicals appears to be all about a cigarrette paper.