Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Breathe

     For the first time in 6 years, it feels like I can finally breathe again. I need to admit to you that I had lost faith in the people of this country, as they allowed themselves to be suckered by weak vilifications of gays, pharmacists, doctors, judges, Clintons, Kerrys, environmentalists, and scientists.
     Yesterday, Democrats picked up 28 seats in the House (double what they needed to take control) and 6 seats in the Senate (exactly what they needed to take control). This is momentous because:
  • The Dems have not had control of both houses since 1994

  • This is the first time since 1948 that the Democrats didn't lose a single House seat

  • President Bush has never governed with anything except the full, unwavering support of both chambers of Congress

     However, this isn't what you might call a historic election.

     At the beginning of my post, I said that I could breathe for the first time in 6 years. Actually, 2000 is just when it got really bad. For my entire adult life, Republicanism has been on the rise in America. This is the first time it feels like somebody isn't waiting to jump down my throat. When Bill Clinton became President in 1992, right-wing talk radio smothered the airwaves with the 2-minutes hate. 2 minutes became 2 years, then 14 years, while the shrill cries of victimization continued to rain down on us. Today, those voices are silent. Well, if not silent, less noisy. They've taken to cannibalizing their own, something they watched Democrats do for years with great relish.
     But what's really exciting about these results is that the highly corrupt and ineffectual Republican majority is no more. For 6 years, they have been no better than a rubber stamp for Bush's inane ideas. Look, everyone knows Bush is an idiot. It wasn't his idea to run for President. He doesn't even do most of the Presidenting work. It's hard to blame him for that. He is what he is. It's not hard to blame Republican Congressmen for jumping to do his every crazy bidding. They've been guilty of dereliction of their duty. Their jobs are to serve their constituents. Instead, they serve the Party. That won't happen anymore.
     I'm really not hoping for the days of 60%+ Democrat majorities in Congress. I don't think that kind of power is good for anyone. Democrats have a long history of abuse of power in the 40 straight years of controlling the House. But Republicans seem to be worse. In 12 years, they have redefined abuse of power, from redistricting between censuses to allowing the President to defy the Constitution. Not to mention the excess of bribery, sexual abuse, and general corruption.
     We've got a long way to go to fix this country. But it starts today.

6 comments:

Phil said...

"However, this isn't what you might call a historic election."

Indeed, since World War II, the average loss in a second-term
presidency in its sixth year is 29 House seats.

"When Bill Clinton became President in 1992, right-wing talk radio
smothered the airwaves with the 2-minutes hate."

Wonderin' why left-wing radio could barely get off the ground,
and it's not because they've chosen to eschew hate speech.
(For two statements by Randi Rhodes, check out
http://www.adl.org/media_watch/radio/20050926-Air%20America.htm
and http://newsbusters.org/node/3604

"But what's really exciting about these results is that the highly
corrupt ... Republican majority is no more."

And now we'll get Murtha, and some of the guys on this list:

http://www.capitaleye.org/abramoff_recips.asp.


"In 12 years, they (the Republicans) have (shown)... the excess of ...sexual abuse ..."

I was tempted to agree with you, but then you went ahead and linked to Bozell's article:
http://www.mediaresearch.org/BozellColumns/newscolumn/2006/col20061003.asp

Scott said...

Do you think anyone is reading your comment without first reading my article? When you cut out 2/3 of the sentence, you distort my original meaning beyond recognition. But it's not like it's hard to see past that when the original is right about your words.
I'm finding it hard to understand your point. You seem to think I said Democrats are squeaky-clean. I said there were plenty of abuses of power. (By the way - any Democrat issues with the Foley scandal are not abuses of power since the Dems didn't have any. They're just irresponsibility) But it took them 40 years to get to the point where the American public felt it needed to stop. It took the Republicans only 12!!
But my greater point was that I feel it's healthy to have a divided government - not one that kowtows to every word of the President, er, Vice President. And I feel that a 14-vote majority is healthier for America than a 100-vote majority.
Keep in mind that Republicans vote with more discipline that Democrats. A 1-vote majority for the Republicans means absolute Republican control. A 14-vote majority for the Democrats means nobody's in absolute control. It's better for the country.
It's too bad good Republicans like Linconl Chaffee had to be kicked out of office to send that message.

phil said...

"But it's not like it's hard to see past that when the original is right about your words."

You mean, "right in front of your eyes?"


I trust your readers will quickly see that I'm not trying to deceive, rather I'm just highlighting parts of your sentences I want to comment on, and to make it quicker to read. For instance, you wrote about "bribery, sexual abuse, and general corruption," but in that comment of mine, I only wanted to focus on the sexual abuse part. Sounded fair to me. If I had left out the ellipses -- now *that* would be deceitful.

"You seem to think I said Democrats are squeaky-clean. I said there were plenty of abuses of power. "

Actually, you only said the "Democrats have a long history of abuse of power ***in the 40 straight years of controlling the House.*** You were quiet about the *current* democrats. If you had been more balanced, a lot of my criticisms would've been silenced.

"By the way, any Democrat issues with the Foley scandal are not abuses of power since the Dems didn't have any."

FWIW, I mentioned the Bozell article only in the context of sexual abuse, and not in the context of abuse of power.

"But it took them 40 years to get to the point where the American public felt it needed to stop. It took the Republicans only 12!!"

Is that supposed to show that the Democrats were only <1/3 as corrupt as the Republicans? Surely it's more complicated than that, and I know you'd agree.


"I feel it's healthy to have a divided government - not one that kowtows to every word of the President, ... it's better for the country"

At first I was very happy that the Republicans had control of the house and senate. But after seeing some abuses of power, I, too, would lean towards what you just said. (I hope I used those ellipses fairly.)

I'd love to see some more of your comments added to some of your previous posts where I added my umm, unwanted, comments.

Scott said...

Sorry - I misstyped. I meant "above", not "about".
By the way, your comments are not "unwanted". I really do appreciate that you take the time to read what I write and then take more time to write responses. And you're certainly more pleasant to have around than a certain commenter I had about a year ago.
As you may have noticed - my blogging frequency has dropped precipitously. The largest cause is a new(er) job that doesn't provide me with 7 3/4 hours of free time a day. I'd rather write new articles than go back a year to old ones, and since I'm struggling to write new ones... it's a vicious cycle.
I'm looking forward to using the new version of blogger that will have comment RSS feeds. Hopefully that will make even comments from really old articles relevant to current readers.
In the meantime, I'll try to make an effort to go back to some of your recent comments and give my $0.02. What I'd really like is if other readers responded to your comments as well. It really broadens the perspective of the topic, imhnso.
One more thing - you asked if I really meant that Republicans were 3 times as corrupt as the Democrats. My answer is yes - not because Republicans are individually slimier or that Dems are so perfect - but because of the the way they act in a group. When you know that your colleagues will support you (almost) no matter what, you become a little carefree with our ethics. Dems know their colleagues are more likely to throw them under the bus, I think. There's more intra-party conflict. It helps keep corruption lower. Not intentionally - it's just a side effect - but there you are.

EC said...

'President Bush has never governed with anything except the full, unwavering support of both chambers of Congress'

Democrats controlled the Senate for more than one year after Jim Jeffords left the Republican party. That period should not be discarded since it produced the Patriot Act, the department of Homeland Security, nationalization of airport security, and most notably, the authorization of President Bush to invade Iraq.

Anonymous said...

I just think it's funny how the same economic indicators which reporters pointed to as bad news before the election are now pointed at as good news. Now that the Dems won, the world is a happy, sunny place all of the sudden.