Friday, November 10, 2006

Time for the Grownups

As much as I hate to agree with my former Congressman Bob Barr he puts forth a good analysis in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution this morning.

[In 1994,] Many in the new [GOP] House majority incorrectly concluded that their 1994 victory was a mandate for all they had campaigned on: dramatically smaller government, quickly achieved; significantly lower taxes; and a complete rollback of many policies instituted in his first two years in office by their nemesis, President Bill Clinton (whom we repeatedly underestimated).

What many congressional Republicans failed to realize until much later was that their November victory was less of a vote of confidence in them and more a vote against Clinton. This miscalculation led to costly blunders in our first year; including trying to do too much too fast, which placed us far ahead of where the American public wanted us to be and where it felt comfortable being....

The Democrats will do everything in their power to avoid a return to second-class citizenship. They will be more likely than were the Republicans a dozen years ago to take modest steps, and to be careful lest rhetoric overtake feasible action. The goal for Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and her battle-hardened team will be to spend two years laying the groundwork for further gains in 2008, and to push an agenda that will provide a solid and likely centrist platform for their party's standard-bearer.

Some the proposals the Democrats ran on, like increasing the minimum wage and implementing the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission are good and necessary and they did resonate with the electorate. However the vote was more about Bush’s incompetence and arrogance along with GOP corruption and over-reach. Of course we also had the issue of Iraq and the fact that the country realizes a change in course is needed and Bush was not and apparently will not react to the will of the people.


What this means for the Democrats is that they need to keep focused in the beginning and meet the expectations of the voters on such things as minimum wage. We cannot fix all that is wrong with America in the first few months. We need to show the public the difference between true leadership and what they have been experiencing over the last 6 to 12 years. We have two years to initiate the process of reversing the damage the Republicans have done to our country and our position in the world. Yes, we need to address the Iraq problem as a high priority but there are myriad other things that need attention as well. Iraq is an awful mess with no easy solutions. The Democrats need to demonstrate that they are serious about solving it and all of it’s ancillary issues like our broken military and the hate and disgust Bush has generated in the rest of the peoples of the world. There is not a quick fix and the Democrats need to think in the long term and about the future. If the Democrats waste this opportunity to demonstrate the proper way to govern they will be thrown out of office again in 2 years and any gains made will be undone by the GOP. It is time for the Democrats to demonstrate how grownups run a country.

I am not saying we should hesitate to make waves or not push the agenda America needs. I am not saying we need to turn into Republican light either. I’m saying we have to be mature and make decisions that are the best for the majority of Americans now and in the future. The legislation that comes out of Washington in the next two years should be the correct legislation for our time. It should be fair and explainable to the masses. It should be the “real deal”. The American public has had it’s fill of double talk, outright lies, and laws that are not meant for the best of America as a whole but for the corporations and fat cats that the GOP has catered too. Americans like straight-shooters and they are tired of being misled, ignored and lied to.


I’ve seen a lot of talk about immediately trying to impeach Bush and Cheney. Nancy Pelosi is already taking grief for supposedly taking it off the table. Nancy Pelosi is smart. She knows that the people are expecting changes from the Democrats. Real government. Our government. There is no upside to trying to impeach Bush right now. The public might support impeachment some day but that is extreme politics and without a proper foundation and the rule of law it would not fly. It might make a lot of people feel good but it would be very short term. It is much better to get on with turning the country around and maybe down the road enough evidence will come to light that will convince the public of the need and justification of an impeachment and they will ask for it and support it.


While many of us might feel the need for retribution that is not why the Democrats were placed in charge, we were placed in charge to turn the country around. Never forget that in only two years the public will, once again, have to opportunity to change the game. If we can show them how grownups lead then we will increase our power and widen our opportunity to move America in the right direction. We are going to falter at times and we will meet stubborn resistance from Bush and the GOP on important issues but if we stick to our agenda of doing right for America and can show progress then we need not fear the next election. If we give Bush and the GOP the opportunity to work with us for America and they refuse it will be they who need fear the next election.

1 comment:

Causal said...

Newsalert:
Newsweek's recent poll shows 51% support for Impeachment. Your premise is off.

People think things are better because we improved the make-up of our law-making body (Congress). But the whole point is that Bush is BREAKING LAWS. So, it doesn't matter how many laws they pass if they don't serve ther OVERSIGHT duty (they swore to defend the Constitution) by impeaching.

Not to mention, Bush can still do a lot of damage to our troops, Iraq, Iran and our Supreme Court.
Impeach Bush Yourself...People think things are better because we improved the make-up of our law-making body (Congress). But the whole point is that Bush is BREAKING LAWS. So, it doesn't matter how many laws they pass if they don't serve ther OVERSIGHT duty (they swore to defend the Constitution) by impeaching.

Not to mention, Bush can still do a lot of damage to our troops, Iraq, Iran and our Supreme Court.
Impeach Bush Yourself...