While it is still the “Twin Parties of Militarism”, having the Democrats in power will mean important differences.
1) The noxious assaults on freedom, like revoking habeas corpus, ignoring the Geneva Conventions, CIA torture prisons, and torture in general will be rolled back. This is a seriously big deal.
2) The vote was an antiwar vote. The Dems will be forced to act because it’s obvious the US is losing the wars and because the populace wants them ended. During the Civil Rights era, Dem senators strongly opposed it at first, then finally backed it and passed the Civil Rights act because that’s where the votes were and they saw the handwriting on the wall. The same process will probably happen on the wars now.
3) Supreme Court nominations. Bush will not be able to get a right winger confirmed with a Dem senate. Another major big deal.
4) The Senate will ratify the Kyoto global warming agreement as neandertal fundamentalists will no longer be able to block it. Bush will still veto it (will the Senate be able to override?), however environmental causes in general will now have a much easier time of it.
5) Investigations. The Dems will control the committees, have subpoena power, and be able to start investigations.
6) The neocon / Religious Right agenda is dead because their base in Congress is either gone or no longer in control. The lunatics no longer control the asylum. Now we just have to deal with garden variety imperialists rather than crazed extreme right zealot imperialists.
The corporate agenda of both parties does remain unchanged as does their slavering defense of Zionism. If they attempt more wars or balk at leaving Iraq and Afghanistan, there will be huge outcry and massive protests because it is now crystal-clear to all that the antiwar forces ARE the majority.
There is much to do and organize on. However the climate for doing so is now much more favorable to the Left. We are no longer swimming against the tide (and maybe we never really were.) The extreme Right-wingers who had jacked the government have been deposed.