David Brooks has another sensible centrist column about who really won this election, "The Middle Muscles In." Since this is the rare week when his New York Times columns are freely available to all, I urge you to have a look.
I think the next two years could be a great era for government. The Republicans have the White House, Democrats have Congress, and the Supreme Court seems about even. The choices for our leaders are to work together, or to get nothing done. I vote for getting something done. This will mean compromise on both sides. The activists of both extremes hate compromise, and have long memories for politicians who they think have "sold out." Centrists, on the other hand, know that politics requires compromise. An uncompromising politician is not a leader, but an ineffective ideologue.
The presidential race has also begun in earnest. Today Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack became the first Democrat to declare for president. Vilsack is chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council, the centrist/conservative wing of the party to which I belong. The DLC is committed to working with Republicans to get something done, as they did so well under the first DLC president, Bill Clinton. I hope Vilsack and others of both parties who begun to run for president in earnest will continue to push for actual achievement from the government we have now, without waiting for the promise of pie later when the other party is magically gone. Because the other party will never be gone. We will always have to work together.