mid term elections

Cruel as it may be to say now, much of the November 2008 hype to which many progressives (me included) subscribed, was just that -- hype -- the product of a profound misreading of what had, and what had not, just happened.
Throughout the country, as states voted for Republican candidates for office, they largely voted against GOP policies in their initiative and referendum positions.
The politicians elected Nov. 4 to new jobs will soon be blamed for doing the same sort of things that their ousted predecessors did as they tried to mate good governance with reality and ambition with idealism.
We'll never know if Democrats could have emerged from the November 4th election with a few new Senate seats because once again they blew it. They weren't out-organized or outmanned. They were outthought, out-chutzpahed and, ultimately, out-foxed.
During every election season I wonder what more we can do, as educators, to inspire civic mindedness? What lessons or projects provide paths for students to understand the critical role voting plays in building and nurturing a healthy democracy?
To some it appears that there are two separate electorates in the U.S. -- one for the general election that closely resembles the makeup of the actual population, and one for the mid-terms that skews heavily toward older, more Republican voters. That perception is generally true, but it's not entirely that simple.
The Berkeley sugary drinks law might be the experiment that provides the evidence that would justify similar measures in other cities.