“Since the general civilization of mankind, I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpation”
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Since the election (and post-election leadership elections) I haven't been particularly moved to write much. In addition, real life has gotten very hectic -- the Xmas show has been rehearsing and is now in tech week, final preparations for the gf's children's show are upon us, and I just learned that I'll need to track the next show (Godspell) in addition to completing the Guys & Dolls tracks for another contract. Finally, I'm working on my own webpage (not political/blog) and learning Flash in the process.
Therefore the blog has entered a sleepy period once again. But please check back every couple of weeks or so; by mid-January I should be posting again, especially when VP Cheney retires.
Mitch McConnell as the Senate Minority Leader is okay with me. It does not exactly show the Republicans as being desirous of a new face at the helm, but at least the man is effective and does not seem to be a train wreck.
On the other hand, Trent Lott for Whip? Yeah, this is the guy who gave in and shared power with the dems after 2000, was forced to resign his leadership post after some ill-chosen racial-inflaming words regarding Strom Thurmond's presidential bid in 1948, and most recently came down hard on Porkbusters last year in a statement that basically asked constituents who requested fiscal responsibility to please SHUT UP.
Yeah, this really shows that the Stupid Party learned its lesson last week....keeping 2 good ol' boys who haven't been out of DC in decades (other than for re-election campaigns; Lott gets an extra for visiting his Katrina-destroyed home), and as such have very little in common with their old base let alone all the brown and black people they'd like to start voting for fellow Republican pals. Lott in particular can not be expected to win many NAACP converts.
Once again the Stupid Party continues to build plans for winning elections based almost entirely on the failings of their opponents instead of sticking to conservative principles and trusting in the conservatism of the voters. Sure, the dems are caught up in socialist infighting for the moment, but at some point they will awaken to discover that they are Americans as well, and will kick their commies out of leadership posts and be a real party again. As long as the reps continue to make their leadership choices from the rolls of the DC Country Club they can expect average voters to continue to reject them. 2008 looms larger than ever, and our front runners are McCain and Giuliani?
We laugh at the dems with the understanding that Kennedy and Truman would have no place in their party today, but the joke increasingly appears to be on the reps -- would Reagan have a place in our party today? Eisenhower?
Unfortunately I strangled my inner hippie to death some time ago and as such cannot support any 3rd party such as the Libertarians or the Constitutionalists. There simply is no effective path to power in that direction. The Dems are more or less the New Communist party, and the Reps are now FDR dems (strong national defense, social vote-buying and damn the budget).
So who am I to support? By default it has been and will probably continue to be the Stupid Party. The tangent of many other posts resonates fully today: "Where is a valid opposition party?" Although many voters chose to stay home or protest-vote 3rd-party or even dem last week, there were many others like me who chose to hold the nose and vote Republican across the board with the idea that a bad Republican currently beats a good Democrat.
Consider two people:
Lincoln Chaffee, arguably the worst RINO in the Senate (and possibly Congress as a whole), who chose not to vote for President Bush in 2004, has been an outspoken opponent of the War in Iraq, and is generally faithless, has a lifetime ACU rating of 37.
Joe Lieberman, hawkish Dem, who is foursquare with the President on the War on Terror, National Security, and Iraq, lost his primary to a peacenik knucklehead, and is generally praised by Republicans and conservatives for crossing the line on matters of security, has a lifetime ACU rating of 17.
That's right -- a terribly reviled Chaffee (and rightly so, in many cases) is an AWFUL republican. But he votes FOR tax cuts, AGAINST tax increases, and tends to support conservative judges. He's anti-war and hates strong defense, but he is 37% reliable on getting our agenda advanced. Lieberman, by contrast, is an unabashed liberal who not only is for increased spending on social programs and raising taxes, but also is a solid supporter of partial-birth abortion and yet is roundly held up as a bipartisan figure that is the "best of the dems" because of his war stance. Yet he votes for our agenda 17% of the time (which is 83% against, in case you're not paying attention).
Still think that forcing RINOs out in favor of dems is going to do anything to advance the conservative stance? The worst RINO is more than twice as reliable for our cause as the best Dem, and that Dem has our RINO beat on what is arguably the single most important issue of our time.
As the title says, "BAH!" It really stinks to be in this position, having to argue for the merits of the likes of Lincoln Chaffee and his ilk. But the broader picture must be observed. Obviously we would prefer more like John Kyl and Rick Santorum in the Senate, but if we can't have the good conservatives, we must still be willing to support the bad ones, the RINOs, because Lincoln Chaffee will get us closer than Joe Lieberman ever will.
In the meantime, the Republican leadership MUST show that they have heard what was screamed at them last week. It is bad enough that Lott is the whip, but to roll over for the dems and not push forward on the agenda harder than ever, would be a gross miscalculation and should be viewed as Political Malpractice.
Thank you, conservatives who decided to stay home or protest-vote for third-party or dem candidates. Because of your desire to "teach a lesson" we now face the worst possible outcome of the election -- loss of control of both houses. The war on terror, especially in Iraq, is now compromised. Justice Stevens is virtually guaranteed to retire or keel over any day now, and there is virtually no chance of getting another Roberts or Alito confirmed. Sunsetting the tax breaks is a certainty, and the immigration issue will shortly be settled by the granting of citizenship to 20 million criminals. Rangel is in charge of the House Appropriations, Leahy is in charge of Senate Judicial, and Howard Dean has every reason to keep yapping. Our most lethal enemies in the middle east and eastern Asia are now emboldened and encouraged.
Thank you, third-party Senate candidates, especially in: Virginia -- the dem/rep difference was 8500; you took 26,000 Montana -- the dem/rep difference was 3000; you took 10,000 Missouri -- the dem/rep difference was 42,000; you took 65,000 Thanks to your presence in these races, the libertarians managed to affect 3 key close elections in favor of the party that wants increased government spending and governmental oversight of virtually every aspect of life, including healthcare, education, business and environmental regulation, and hostility to 2nd Amendment issues. The party that stands by the Kelo decision allowing increased state power with respect to eminent domain, is now in charge. Looks like your agenda has really been furthered....
Thank you, House and Senate Republicans. By forgetting the entirety of the Contract with America which helped you into power 12 years ago, you have made your own supporters decide that an insane opposition party in charge is preferable to you. Bloated spending, abuse of earmarks, open consort with shady lobbyists, blatant lack of desire to cut any programs in favor of expanding existing programs and creating new ones are only the tip of the financial irresponsibility you have demonstrated. Adding to this are the issues you ignored entirely or punted when the NY Times said mean things about you, including making tax cuts permanent, dropping SocSec reform, punting the illegal immigration and border enforcement issue until a few months before the election (special nod to the Senate for completely ignoring your constituents here; at least the House passed a semblance of wall/enforcement-first legislation).
Then there are the wondrous things you passed willingly, like the McCain-Feingold Incumbent Protection Act, the Bloated Medicare and Free Pills Bill, the various Farm, Highway, and Education bills that served only to increase the wealth of you and your lobbyists. Your judicial compromise in the Senate with the Gang of Fourteen got some nominees through with limited bloodshed, but it was cowardly and did not exhibit leadership or power.
Contributing to all these issues is the simple fact that the House and Senate Republicans never once acted like they had majorities, let alone control of either house. By "working with" the dems and "showing collegiality" you completely undercut your authority and gave them the boots with which they walked all over you. In the process your base sat out here scratching our heads trying to figure out why you didn't simply force them back.
Finally, I wish to thank President Bush. By never using the veto pen (except for the disastrous threat regarding Dubai Port World), you have allowed the misbehaving children in the Senate and the House to run up the spending and exhibit less control over the checkbook than a 16-year-old who just got paid on Friday afternoon. You went along with McCain-Feingold, wrote the Education bill with Ted Kennedy, have been completely wrong on immigration/borders, put up the disastrous Meiers nomination, and completely screwed the pooch on a PR level with the Dubai ports issue. In the meantime, you never grabbed Frist and Hastert by the collar and told them what they needed to get done a la LBJ. In not prosecuting the Iraqi occupation more forcefully you left yourself and our side open to legitimate and illegitimate criticism in the most sensitive time possible, and gave the dems the perfect electoral excuse.
I expected us to lose the House but only be down single-digit seats. We could have kept it, but it was historically destined to be lost, and only a massive burst of conservatism and enthusiasm would have saved it. That did not happen, and the expected loss happened. The Senate, on the other hand, was not not only keepable, but in fact SHOULD HAVE been kept. There was no historical or legitimate reason for us to lose both houses.
So thanks to everyone listed above. Now we have a terrible situation, even if it is not the end of the world. Losing the House is bad enough, but losing the Senate is disastrous. Now, not only do we not have the power and have a severely hobbled president, but that power is concentrated in incumbency for the dems in upcoming elections.
Incumbency was always a hard nut to crack, but now it is even harder to do thanks to McCain-Feingold. Republicans had the power and could have limited the damage. They chose not to, and the voters were faithless enough to allow them to lose. Now the dems are entrenched and will be even harder to dislodge in 2008, 2010, and 2012. In the meantime we have a war that will most certainly be subjected to Vietnamization, a SocSec and Medicare crisis that will only be solved by tax hikes, and 3 or 4 Supreme Court justices that will retire in the next 6-8 years that we most likely will not be able to replace with Thomases or Scalias.
Thanks, guys. That was sure fun, wasn't it? I hope those 12 years were worth the 35 or 40 you're going to spend trying to get the power back. And will the libertarians PLEASE GROW UP?