Thursday, November 09, 2006

Why am I such a killjoy?

Over the last two days many people have called or emailed me about the mid-term election results and then been shocked that I'm not as jubilant as I'm apparently supposed to be. I've been accused of bringing people down with my gosh-darned attachment to reality.

Look. I'm thrilled that Rummy is on the way out. But Bob Gates is no savior. Fresh blood is good, but Gates is cut from the same cloth as everybody else in the Bush camp.

I'm very pleased with the results in the House of Representatives, and am looking forward to the leadership of Nancy Pelosi. Hopefully they will keep the administration in check without over-reaching (more about that in a second) and bringing nothing new but the return of legislative gridlock.

The results in the Senate, however, leave me completely un-impressed. With George Allen's apparent defeat in Virginia (it ain't quite over yet), it gives the Democrats a whopping majority of one. But, considering that "majority" includes such hawks as Joe Lieberman and Hillary Clinton (et. al.), I'm not throwing any parties yet.

Yes, Clinton the hawk. All the right-wing commentators are preparing for the 2008 Presidential race by trying to paint her as being "the far left of the Democratic party." What a joke. If Hillary is the "far left" then you can start calling me Trotsky.

They're doing this for two reasons. First is to scare off any other Democratic contenders from really reaching to the left for ideas or support, thus further marginalizing the already marginalized left. Second is to start painting her as "out of the mainstream" and un-electible because she is the Democratic nominee presumptive (at least to this point).

Okay, let's ago back a point or two, to where I cautioned against "over stepping" by the Democratic House. This is not because I wouldn't be a major cheerleader for some real progressive reform. It is because I don't want them to ask for everything, get nothing, and turn the keys to Congress back over to the far right in just two years. I'd rather that they pace themselves, wait for a President who might sign one or two of their proposals, and then go for the guts.

In other words, I don't think Tuesday's results were a mandate for all things left-of-center. I wish it were, but that ain't the case. It was a mandate to find a way out of Iraq, bring an end to corruption and cronyism, and put some focus back on domestic issues.

A raise of the minimum wage can be done. Insuring more children can be done (an incremental step to universal health). Fixing (but not replacing) No Child Left Behind can be done. Some progress can be made on environmental issues. And that's about it.

Oh, and in case you're wondering, I'm against impeachment. Yeah, you heard me: against impeachment. Not that Bush & Cheney don't deserve it, but that would take up the entire term and leave nothing else accomplished.

Besides, impeachment is too good for them. Their crimes against humanity rise to the level treason. I say, let them finish their term, then try them for trampling on the Constitution and committing war crimes.

Impeachment only leads to disgrace. We can hang people for treason.

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