The barbarians are at the gates, and Washington, D.C. may never be the same. If American voters thought the war in Iraq was the most pressing issue of the day, Barbara Boxer may soon be disabusing them of that notion. Likely to be the next chair of the Senate Environment committee, Boxer is ecstatically planning her new campaign to save us from ourselves. Count on her to ramp up the volume on eco issues. DiFi, rarely raising her voice but a master of backroom deal making is rumored to be in line for Trent Lott’s seat at the Rules committee, and California rules are sure to look a lot different than Mississippi ruhls. Harry Reid may not be from California but the State of Las Vegas might as well be a territory of Los Angeles. In any case, my sense is that this will turn out to be a historic mid-term election but not for the currently pundited reasons. I think we’re finally seeing the end of the iron grip of The South on national politics and an end to the long reign of Dixiecrats in election politics. It has taken over 150 years for California, the economic powerhouse and cultural cutting edge of the country to get a few places at the table in Washington and it’s a harbinger of the changes in the national political landscape to come. No matter who sits in the Oval Office.