Thursday, November 09, 2006

armchair politics

Since the election I have viewed plenty of airtime from C-Span as they broadcast various analysis from experts, not the talking heads of other cable news channels. If you want to understand American elections watch C-Span in the days after an election, particularily the panel shows.

I've seen the various campaign managers, winners and losers discuss the strategy used during the election. There is much armchairing going on about individual races as well as the reasoning of why the Democrats swept up the Congress.

I had to laugh at one campaign organizer, Tom Reynolds, the congressman coordinating the other Republican congress members. He at one point went on a tirade against the "liberal" media. He was nearly drooling with rage. It's funny, when the media played cheerleader for the Republicans in the build-up for the Iraq War I didn't hear Reynolds complain about the media. By the way Tom, have you seen Bush's ratings for the last year? If 2/3rds of the country is against Bush AND the Iraq War, well wouldn't 2/3rds of the media feel similar? Of course the media was biased, they were part of that countrywide emotion of anti-Republican, anti-Bush, anti-Congress, anti-war that has built up ever since Hurricane Katrina really.

People across the country are hoping the Democrats do some good in Congress, there is hope. The Dems have mometum after winning as the underdog. Everybody likes the underdog. Sure there are staunch Republicans that will never accept this change of power, but I think America is ready to give the Dems a chance and now are going to sit back and watch. The party is in a difficult spot. They don't have veto beating power, but they do have subpoena power. Does the country want the wrongs of the last six years repaired or does the country want the Dems to forget that past and move on to the future and deal with problem number one, Iraq?

Certainly ethics must be dealt with, the ethics committee is currently virtually nonexistence. Lobbying rules with teeth, elimination of those add-ons to bills where the pork shows up in the middle of the night, get rid of attack television ads would be a special treat for me personally, and many other ethical issues available for fixing.

Investigations must be done on some sort of noticable scale. Start with the Iraq War contracting and put some people in jail because everyone knows there has been massive war-profiteering. Essentially that's what former Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham's crime was, war-profiteering. It might be too much to expect, but wouldn't it be great if the military-industrial complex was exposed for what it is, the danger to our country that President Eisenhower warned in his farewell address (interestingly Eisenhower originally was going to call it military-legislative-industrial complex, thereby including Congress in the link of the Department of Defense and private contractors, but that hit too close to the center target). Anyway, I digress.

Impeach the president? The Republicans are both scared and hope for it. Scared because it could get a groundswell of popular support or if the Democrats do the impeachment the public might think "oh, no, not again!"

Finally, what is Bush going to do now that the scene has shifted? I'm curious whether he will dump his inside group (as he just did with Rumsfeld) and actually honestly work with the Dems and pass plenty of decent legislation. Would that be too unbelievable to accept, that Bush becomes a Democratic willing puppet? He might realize that his legacy will depend on solving Iraq for history's sake with the Democrats explaining to him what to do the whole time. On the other hand, Bush might just be the divider and decider he has been for six years.