Wednesday, November 08, 2006

And Now...?

First and foremost, congratulations to all those who won their contests yesterday. In this country, at this time, it's no small feat to expose yourself to the microscope, putting yourself and your family out there for scrutiny on the grueling campaign trail, and so regardless of party, to the winners, I say enjoy your hard-earned celebrations.

Now that the Dems have control of the House, however (and, at the very least, more power in the Senate...as I write this two contests are still undecided), I'm reminded of Truman's famous response to the rally cry "Give 'em Hell Harry," noting that he never gave anyone hell, he just told them the truth and they thought it was hell.

As I think about how I'd like the Democrats to move forward, I realize that they really don't have to seek revenge for the years of being marginalized by this arrogant President and his staff. They don't have to "give them hell." They need do no more than do their jobs: serve as oversight, pass legislation, and investigate suspected abuses. If that feels like hell to the Bush Administration, so be it.

Soon-to-be Speaker Pelosi is promising an agenda geared toward helping Americans who have been neglected under Republican rule and finally, finally, finally acting to make us safer here at home, for real, not just using whatever serves their purposes as rhetoric toward that. Her priorities include
  • Boost the minimum wage? The only question is how high, how fast.
  • Fiscal discipline? “Remove all doubt. Pay as you go.”
  • Research on new embryonic stem cells? Scrap the ban on federal funding.
  • Problematic prescription drug coverage for seniors? “We can do something about that.”
  • 9-11 commission recommendations? Approved on Day One.
I don't know about you, but I feel safer already.

26 Comments:

Blogger Mark said...

Return habeas corpus rules for all. A little levity would be nice, easy on the moralizing. If I hear one more self- righteous....

11/08/2006 09:41:00 AM  
Blogger ondine-nyc said...

The Republicans needed a bitch-slap and they got only a tap.

They are back at work today not even feeling chastized. Democrats won a few more races because they ran Republicans in Dem clothing and for that we all lose. The whole political game is now played on the Republican side of the playing field. When we get to the 50 yard line we now feel victorious. God help us all.

Every single anti-gay measure passed yesterday. This is my country 2006.

11/08/2006 11:14:00 AM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

Ondine,

actually, the anti-gay measure in Arizona failed...stay hopeful.

11/08/2006 11:29:00 AM  
Anonymous David said...

With the power divided up differently now, it's hard to say how much things will actually get better. But at least it won't be as easy for the Republicans to keep making things worse.

11/08/2006 11:35:00 AM  
Anonymous ml said...

Yesterday was a better Christmas present than I expected.

But I have one question: when the news programs list the ratio in the Senate, the two independents are added to the Democrats' side. Does anyone really still consider Lieberman a Democrat?

11/08/2006 11:59:00 AM  
Anonymous jec said...

---huge sigh of relief---

You are absolutely right, Ed. The Democrats need to no more than their jobs. I see part of my job for the next two years as keeping them honest and making sure they are serving the country's interest. Just these two things alone would be a big and welcome change in Washington.

11/08/2006 12:10:00 PM  
Anonymous David said...

Yeah, when they were listing things as 49/49, I was wondering what happened to the independents. I didn't realize they lumped them in w/ the Democrats. That certainly changes things.

As far as Lieberman, I guess it depends where he is. If he were here in California he'd definitely be a Republican. In some Southern and Midwest states he'd probably be looked at as a Democrat. I'm not sure about in Connecticutt. Didn't it used to be part of New England?

11/08/2006 12:12:00 PM  
Blogger ondine-nyc said...

i just learned about the Arizona victory, am happy to hear it.

But Dems are already spinning this as a victorious move to the center for Dems which is just a codeword for liberals don't have any influence in the party.

From Bruce Reed of the DLC:

"Ever since watching Rove's success in 2002 and 2004, some on the left and in the blogosphere have been trying to persuade the Democratic Party to follow suit and develop our own smashmouth politics aimed less at persuasion and more at motivating our base. As Lamont discovered, that approach wins primaries—but as Joe Lieberman showed him, that's no match for pragmatic problem solving in a general election."

as my friend Marisa says:

Shorter take on the election: women (if not a well vetted candidate, that is) minorities - of all kinds - and gays can move to the back of the bus. Stem cells ride up front…

11/08/2006 12:16:00 PM  
Blogger painterdog said...

the dems took a majority of state governorships.

I already heard one dem say they are going re-do all the Bush cuts on education, and lets not forget the courts.

The great thing is Carl Rove can go home now and shot someone else in the face, oh that was Darth Cheney, who just th other day said if you vote for the dems your aiding and abetting the terrorist, well I guess the majority of Americans are aiding and abetting...

In my state of Massachusetts we voted in the first black governor and the second in the history of the country. In 08 it's looking good for Obama.

11/08/2006 12:48:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

Rummy Resigns!!!!!!!!!


Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes,!!!!!!

11/08/2006 01:08:00 PM  
Blogger George said...

49-48-2
Montana goes to the Dems

11/08/2006 01:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Oriane said...

we kicked some republican bootay!

11/08/2006 01:30:00 PM  
Blogger George said...

Bush sounds rattled.

11/08/2006 01:35:00 PM  
Blogger ondine-nyc said...

Rummy resigns to be replaced by the former head of our secret police, one who couldn't be confirmed the first time around because of his involvement in Iran-Contra.

Oh joy, Bush (at Rove's behest) rearranges the deck chairs. The only people who won't be taken in are those outside the US who have a functioning press.

11/08/2006 01:39:00 PM  
Blogger painterdog said...

the house of cards is starting to fall...

11/08/2006 02:06:00 PM  
Blogger JD said...

Oh Happy Day!! Bye bye, Rummy! I know that soon enough the Dems won't disgust me (I kinda agree with Ondine), but for today, I choose to remain in a state of bliss.

11/08/2006 02:17:00 PM  
Blogger JD said...

Bush will veto. It will get ugly. John Paul Stevens, hang on, because the Dems might not have the spine to prevent a fascist from taking your seat. Will the Dems take real action on global warming, the minimum wage, and tax cuts? Stay tuned. Bush may be a lame duck, but he's still (sob) the president.

11/08/2006 02:20:00 PM  
Blogger JD said...

Ok, I'm losing it here; I'm just too excited. I meant to say "the Dems WILL disgust me."

11/08/2006 02:21:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

It's a good day to be an American.

I recall how thoroughly disgusted I felt when Bush won in 2004...how Canada or Europe seemed so attractive (not only could I see the Administration driving over a cliff, but the degree of hatred they used to GOTV made me actually somewhat fearful for the safety of me and Bambino...the anti-gay crowd was getting too powerful). Something told me though that to flee was to betray my own faith in the system...that I had just as much right to work to shape the future of this country as those who clearly disagreed with me on so many issues.

More than that though, I couldn't help but feel that much of the support Bush and Republicans got in 2004 wasn't due to their policies, as much as it was due to the population's fear of the terrorists. I'm still very disappointed in my fellow Americans for letting their fear get the best of them, but I'm happy to see they've return to their senses. Knowing that they would do the right thing in the long run was a matter of faith, but it was something I was confident enough about to decide to stick it out.

I predict very tough times ahead for the US, still. Even should Dems reclaim the White House in 08, the damage Bush's rampant cronyism has done (and that's the essence of his failure) will likely take years to unravel, and all the while, China and India and Europe will be chomping at the bit to dethrone us as the world's #1 superpower. Balancing the budget again, especially with the aging Baby Boomers heading into retirement, will take some serious belt tightening (and I can't believe I'm talking like this...I sound like a Reaganite...but that's how far right Bush has led us) and I predict China's gonna really start pushing its economic weight around. Having said that, I also see signs that the Dobsons and Perkins of the world will need to step back a bit and reassess just how Christian their actions have been over the past 6 years. I hope so at least.

As for Bush, I'm of two minds. One part of me truly believes he's guilty of war crimes. Through stupidity, it not malice, but guilty all the same (he invaded a sovereign nation that had not attacked us and posed no imminent threat, against the counsel of the United Nations majority, mind you) and did so under false pretenses. That at least warrants a trial, in my opinion. On the other hand, I can't imagine that would be in the country's best interest, as the threat to us is still very real. Bush isn't the up to the task, but whoever comes after him should be able to take the Oval Office without having to lay low like Ford did, waiting for the stench of disgrace to dissipate. He/She should be able to fight the enemy with all the (legal) resources the Commander in Chief needs to ensure we're safe. A month after 9/11, we were almost universally united in giving such resources to Bush...but the little shit squandered them for partisan gain.

Lousy investment, he must be thinking today.

11/08/2006 02:56:00 PM  
Blogger carla said...

...and the partisan's over, frat-boy.

11/08/2006 04:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Cedric Caspesyan said...

Come on people, politics are vain.
It's all fake authority, however big the guns.

Let's talk about art,

Cedric Caspesyan

11/08/2006 04:09:00 PM  
Blogger JD said...

Ed, I agree with you about '04: I never quite believed that the Repugs won because of the "values" thing. It was always their pandering to Americans' fears of terrorism. And yes, things are going to be very tense and weird now. One thing the GOP was saying is indeed true: the Dems ran and won on an anti-Bush platform, not because they have any great ideas, or are even particularly unified on the issues. I think, aside from the gargantuan task of cleaning up after Bush, a lot will ride on whether the Dems can rise to the occasion.

11/08/2006 05:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Henry said...

I sympathize with Cedric, but if we're having some fun analyzing yesterday's elections, I think Ondine-NYC hit the nail on the head, and I think JD was half right. Even Rush Limbaugh has said as much by now.

In my view this was a center-right or right-libertarian backlash, not a left-liberal one. Uber-Catholic Rick Santorum was replaced by a pro-life Democrat, anti-Republican Lincoln Chafee was purged, pro-war Lieberman and conservative Dem Jim Webb both won, and Harold Ford referred explicitly to religion during his campaign far more than Santorum did during his. Many of yesterday's winners were moderate or conservative Dems.

It's hard for me to believe that yesterday's election was based predominantly on Bush-hatred or the Iraq war when an anti-Bush Republican lost and a pro-war Democrat won, or that it was a vindication of the Democrat agenda -- whatever in fact it may be -- when a CNN poll just the other day showed that a majority of people think government today is doing too much. There were also the many votes on gay marriage and affirmative action. This was not an invitation for the Dems to rule, but a message to the GOP to revisit the idea of small government.

The issue of gay marriage won't resolve itself until people get over the psychological hump caused by the word "marriage." There's something magical about that word, and an entire set of cultural connotations, which rightly or wrongly stop people in their tracks. I bet if you phrase the question in terms of specific rights -- inheritance, hospital visits, healthcare coverage, even child adoption -- most people will say yes, but when you use the word "marriage," a wall goes up. I don't know what to do about it except give it time. I'm not sure how "civil union" is different from "marriage," but perhaps in a generation or two the terms will be legally interchangeable.

11/08/2006 06:04:00 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

I think you were responsible for this wonderful turn of events. The politically motivated photographer community clearly pushed the country toward the blue.

11/08/2006 10:45:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

The politically motivated photographer community clearly pushed the country toward the blue.

yes, I'm sure you're right.

11/09/2006 08:15:00 AM  
Anonymous onesock said...

I think the swing toward more progressive values is a slow one. After the near reactionary regime of Bush this country cannot turn 180 dgrees in an instant. Yes the "center" is the dominant paradigm right now. But in an age of uncertainty we need to be open to all possibilites. I think great things can be acheived thru a move to the center, not because of pragmatism but because of flexibilty of mind, an openness to many possibilities and solutions. Compromise is not a way of undermining your values, its a way of doing a dance with someone else's values to convince them that THESE ARE THE SAME VALUES. To be Pro-life one must recognize the importance of stem cell research AND not bombing cities killing innocent people for nothing. To believe in love and compassion one must recognize the good in two human beings wanting to pledge their devotion and caring for one another regardless of the gender combo.

I think/hope that many of the Christian right are realizing that they need to focus on their REAL values- helping the poor and less fortunate, loving one another, the golden rule, etc.
Basically we need to put out the fires of hate in this country and that will not be acheived thru more hate.

11/10/2006 11:40:00 AM  

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