As a Democrat on Election Day and in the aftermath, it was difficult not to be excited; winning the 15 seats in the House of Representatives and six in the Senate was a monumental relief, which was then replaced with worry over when, exactly, they might manage to screw it all up for the rest of us.
But I tried to put that behind me for something much more important: Nancy Pelosi was determined to likely be the next Speaker of the House. She will be the first woman to hold that position.
I know this should not seem like such a major achievement. The shift from Republicans to Democrats being the dominating force in the House was not swift; a grave was dug months ago, and fallout from the Jack Abramoff and Mark Foley scandals just helped it all along.
But throughout it all, Pelosi kept her composure. Her enemies have used her city of residence (San Francisco) against her, citing liberalism as the sheer reason she should not be trusted.
More than 85 years have passed since women gained the right to vote, and I know that at the moment I should, in fact, be more outraged that it has taken this long for a woman to hold the top seat in the House of Representatives.
By all accounts, Pelosi must have been a little surprised as well. In her interviews before the midterm elections, she stayed gracious, and focused on the main goal of Democrats gaining at least a little more power in the House.
She seemed reluctant to speak out profusely on what could be a major promotion for herself. Rather, she focused on what had to be done for her party.
President George W. Bush said a couple of weeks before the election that there was absolutely no way she could become Speaker of the House (or even be put in the position to attain the role), no way the Democrats would gain full power.
Given such far-flung arrogance, is it any wonder that a need for change was recognized by the majority of this country?
The Speaker of the House is primarily responsible for making sure that the legislation passed by the House represents the majority party’s interest, in its simplest definition. This would grant Pelosi the power of determining when some bills would be voted on in the House, which is obviously a major gain.
Given Pelosi’s pro-choice, pro-free speech stance, we all might face greater freedoms during the rest of this godforsaken presidential administration, or put off the inevitable repeal of the Roe v. Wade decision.
It is easy to see why Republicans are seeing the downside of all this. No longer the majority party, it is about time they look at their party’s goals objectively.
But with a woman and Democrat in the top seat in the House, liberals can finally see a light at the end of the tunnel.