After 2000 and 2004, I made a conscious effort this year to try and not get excited about any sorts of possibilities for Democratic gains in mid-term elections. I’d been burnt too many times, and while there were candidates that I was really excited about, I did my best to contain any real excitement that they in fact could possibly win, while talking to everyone who would listen about how great they were.

Now, election day has come and gone and the Dems have managed to gain control in both the Senate and the House. They picked up 6 seats in the former and what is currently a minimum of 29 in the latter (with several still being contested). They picked up several governor spots and didn’t lose an incumbent seat in either the Senate or the House. All in all, it was a rather amazing night of events.

A couple local candidates (Scott Kleeb and Jim Esch) that I was really impressed with didn’t win their races, but they’re both young and I have a feeling that each one of them will be back again in the near future. In addition, a crazy proposed amendment that I think really would have hurt our state (especially our educational institutions) went down in flames and our very own Ben Nelson (who’s not my favorite Senator, but anyway…) wiped the floor with a wingnutter opponent. I guess there were a few bright spots in the state.

On a national level, the Dems have now been put into an interesting spot. They’ve been given a majority, which I hope that they actually use to get some important issues tackled. The vultures will be waiting with knives drawn for any mis-steps, and I’m hoping for the good of the country that some party differences can be swallowed for the greater good at some point. Given the political climate of the past couple years, that’s a hell of an order, but for now my glass is half full (after seeming near empty for so, so long).