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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Screw the Cautious Optimism

I think Mark Twain once said something like, "No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American voter."

Which (even if I'm misquoting) is true. Which is why I'm dispensing with caution and just loving this. Yeah, it's crazy that any Republicans held onto their seats, but given that Republicans were engineering voter fraud from the get go and typically outspend Dems on campaigns... and given Twain's truism, this is fan-freaking-tastic. Especially if we hang onto slim leads in the Montana and Virginia senate election.

If Democrats take power over both houses, I want more than lame duck status for W. Yes, we need to put the brakes on this reckless administration. Rumsfeld stepping down today is symbolic of that... but it does precious little to change actual policy. Rummy is enough of a party soldier that he knows it will help the neocons for him to act as whipping boy, letting his ideas and cronies keep their influence alive in Washington. So... I want more than just someone putting on the brakes. This congress needs to put things in reverse. We need the congress to step-up (preferably under bipartisan leadership) and take back the rights given away by the previous legislature. We need to reinstate habeas corpus. We need to repeal the special powers given to the President to wage his war on terror. Oddly, we need true conservative values (fiscal responsibility, traditional civil liberties, constitutional protection, etc.) That's why I'm hopeful that a consortium of Republicans (maybe under McCain) will vote along side Dems to make these reforms happen.

I don't think impeachment is likely or productive or ultimately what the people want. I don't want this new class of representatives and senators to eventually eat hubris pie (ala the Republican congressmen elected during Clinton's second term.) We don't need a bunch of "Contract with America" hype. We don't need this Congress squandering their "political capital" on chastisement. I just want solid reform. Both houses, and the judiciary, need to slap a set of legislative handcuffs on this administration. So my hope is that Nancy Pelosi (first woman to be Speaker of the House!) will prioritize restoring our constitution rather than playing payback!



At 11/08/2006 02:17:00 PM, Blogger Jon said...

Don't get fooled by McCain and the other 'liberal' Republicans. He is not a Democrat and does not want to be. What he does want to be is President and he knows that he will not be able to do that without appealing to the right-wing of his party. So he talks the talk but does he walk the walk? He is the one behind the softer Republican agenda but when you look time and time again at what he produces, it seems more and more like cover for the Right. E.g. the Military Commissions Bill. We had the spectacle of Bush having to 'compromise' with these 'moderate' Republicans to get what he wanted but when you look at it in the end, he got all that he wanted. No habeas corpus remember?

My hope is that it convinces the 'moderate' Democrats like Hillary that they do not need to be like the Republicans to get elected.

At 11/08/2006 11:43:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speak for yourself, sir! The Stave it Off Portland contingent is all for impeachment.


At 11/09/2006 03:49:00 AM, Blogger molly said...

Funny how the term "conservative" actually represents a person who adheres to an ideology which was established when the country was founded. What we think of as "conservative" now is a far cry from the message esatblished by our founding fathers. It has seemed in recent years that we had strayed far from the idea of "by the people, for the people", which is, if you think about it, the ideology we want to conserve. From where I sit from afar, it seems to me that the democrats are the ones who are the new conservatives, embracing the message of our fathers, which was established with core values for democracy and also religion. The fact that some of our Democratic representatives have run to the middle, or that somme are devout Christians, doesn't bother me one bit. Isn't to be Democratic all about welcoming all Americans regardless of race, color or creed? I'm happy to have someone representing me who can speak to the far right in a language they will understand.

Bring it on. Be joyful. Why not?

At 11/09/2006 07:07:00 AM, Blogger Jon said...

The problem is not that to be Democrat is to be welcoming of all Americans regardless of race, color or creed but that to be a certain type of Christian is not to be equally welcoming and to require all others to live by beliefs that they do not share?

At 11/09/2006 01:51:00 PM, Blogger Johnbai3030 said...

I don't think the Dems are infested with evangelical intolerant Christians. I think the Rick "Sanctimonious" Santorums of the world got flushed in this election. Plenty of Christians believe in a healthy separation of church and state.

(OMG, am I defending Christianity!? WTF! Does this cost me my "athiest-true believer" status?)

At 11/09/2006 03:14:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...




At 11/10/2006 07:03:00 AM, Blogger molly said...

Don't worry, John! I'm doing the same thing (defending Christianity).

My grandparents, whom I love and adore, for example, have wonderful pragmatic, tolerant, core southern values (the good southern values, that is... you know, the real definition of being a good christian and loving thy neighbor and all that). My grandfather, I found out recently, is a moderate republican. I thought for the longest time he was a Dem! His politics are certainly not very Republican, or at least not if you measure him up against this Neo[nazi]conservative crowd. When he was asked for a contribution to the party recently he told the caller that he didn't agree with the alignment of his party and he wouldn't be contributing. The caller agreed with him. And, like I said, they are Christian. My grandmother's the one that still goes to church regularly. But you wouldn't find two more sound people anywhere, with their heads firmly screwed on. They have good, solid values and are advocates for the separation of church and state and are members of the Interfaith Alliance, which is in opposition to the Religious Right. The Interfaith Alliance doesn't condone the runaway crazies that picket outside shops that decided to paint "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas" in their shop windows (that actually happened in PA last year).

I know it seems wrong... feels wrong to defend people who are practicing Christians because historically, because of the nutty bunch, we don't see eye to eye and usually people who aren't in their gang recieve the short straw. But I think atheists or religious believers classified as "other" might achieve more by embracing those who do believe in Christ who also are tolerant of people who don't. Moderate Christians, I'm afraid to say, will be more welcome and able to talk shop with the crazies a lot better than you or I, I think. That's just the way of the world.

So don't worry. You're not the only one happy to see them.


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