ROVE, MANDATES, AND POWER. I agree with Matt and Garance (who has a new blog) regarding Karl Rove -- 2006 should finally put to rest the idea that having a better record running national elections than Bob "Losing Pitcher" Shrum makes you some kind of super-genius.
BACK TO THE CLOWN SHOW. The defeat of South Dakota's abortion ban is evidently good news on the merits, and will also hopefully put to rest the ideas that abortion criminalization necessarily represents popular majorities. Even in one of the most conservative states in the country, an even minimally consistent (and the South Dakota legislation still flinched when it came to applying legal sanctions to women who were purportedly guilty of a serious crime) pro-life position is a political loser.
WHAT COUNTERMOBILIZATION? Remember all the speculation about how the New Jersey Supreme Court's decision requiring civil unions was going to create a major, pro-Republican backlash because the courts were "getting ahead of the people"? Strange how we're hearing less about that today, now that this seems to have had about as much impact on the election as the botched Kerry joke that obsessed the conservative blogosphere but apparently not the electorate.
"THE VOTES ARE IN AND WE WON." Spencer is happily prescient. Conservative Democrat or not, it's nice to have a Democrat in a crucial race who understands politics. In a recount, you have to seize the initiative and establish the right narrative: Webb did it. Good for him.
EVEN SOUTH DAKOTA HAS POSTIVE NEWS: Not only is the draconian aboriton ban heading for defeat, but the ridiculous initiative to impose retrocative legal liability on judges is going down by an 80-point margin.