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Re-evaluating Our Elected Officials

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What is it about the November elections that made us think that things would change overnight? Well, for one thing the elections proved that the system can work. They didn’t prove that it does work. We were all expecting that this congress would automatically reverse all the terrible things that the previous congress and the current administration have allowed to happen almost overnight. We forget that it’s been 12 years since the Gingrich revolution, and 26 years since the Reagan administration started to systematically tear this country apart(more about that in a future post), and there is no miracle cure to reverse things overnight. 

Let’s remember that the Democrats do not have a real majority in the Senate. They do not have the brute strength to bully legislation through the opposition, and Harry Reid needs to form certain alliances with a few Republicans to get anything worthwhile passed. If they did have that clout George Bush would not be posturing and standing so fast on his positions. If he knew that his veto could be overridden, you would see a remarkable change in his attitude.  As the primaries get closer there are certain Republican senators who are going to be vulnerable, and they will start to distance themselves from Bush and his policies. Since the Democrats can’t afford to be seen as weak, they allowed the current war funding bill to go forward.  What a pity. 

Where is our leadership when we most need it? They’re jockeying for position for the next time. Maybe that will work; however, they had absolutely nothing to lose by standing up to GWB on the funding. In boxing terms they had him on the ropes, but they failed to deliver the KO punch. Why?  DOJ is falling apart. The congressional investigations are revealing massive corruption and incompetence, all in the pursuit of the unitary executive, plus, the only issue that defines this administration is
Iraq and that can be taken away from him instantly, by not funding it. The KO punch was there and wasn’t delivered. I can only surmise that that it wasn’t the right round or the price was too short. Without the killer instinct the Democrats are doomed.

I listen to the progressive radio jocks like Thom Hartmann, Ed Schultz, Randi Rhodes, Stephanie Miller et al whenever possible. They have their opinions and most of the time I am in agreement with them. They are voicing the same frustrations with our congress as I am. I wrote Howard Dean an e-letter telling him that I would no longer contribute to the party, and that if I could find an alternative to the party I would pursue it.  I also told him to contact me only after the party developed a new set of balls Here’s the body of my e-mail letter which was sent prior to the vote: 




“Sorry, Howard: Today the Democrats probably lost the 08 election with their fully funding Bush’s war and no real controls on him. I most likely am going to leave the party and work in other areas to bring about change. I can no longer trust the Democrats in congress and there is no way I’m going to vote for any candidate who will vote positively on this. When you guys decide to get a set of balls then I might change my mind” 

As long as we allow our elected Democrats to be wimps they will be. I understand that they need to keep their wits about them and use them as needed, but the elections of 2000 and 2004 showed no respect for wits, nuance or erudition. Joe Sixpack doesn’t understand the finer points of debate. He does, however, understand the impact of a baseball bat. We need Joe Sixpack to be on our side, and he will never respect us unless or until we wield that bat. Once we have him on our side we can wean him away from simplicity.  Remember the timeless words of Frank Loesser, “Marry the man today and change his ways tomorrow”. 

This post will always be about solutions and how to implement them. Get involved with your local political club. Call and write your senator and congressperson and give them a piece of your mind. Let your incumbent legislators know that you will vote for their opponents in the primary and that you will withhold funds from the party. Tell them that you will only donate to the candidate of your choice. It’s up to us to change them.  Remember-if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem


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