By now, even the dearly departed know that a seismic shift has occurred in the Capitol’s halls of power. The American electorate came out and delivered a message to President George W. Bush that it wasn’t buying what he was selling, that they weren’t dumb enough “to stay the course.”
Americans looked beyond the Tora! Tora! Tora! / Terror! Terror! Terror! spin of Karl Rove and made their choices based on what The Eye suspects came down to three essential issues: Iraq, Social Security, and immigration.
The GOP sleaze of corruption and their entire host of perverts and wife/mistress-beaters was merely the cherry on top of the frustration sundae.
Iraq has devolved into civil war, but Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld refuse to acknowledge this. And everybody knows what happened to Rummy.
Why are Americans dying in another country’s civil war? The Iraqis can’t or won’t take control of their security situation while the U.S. military is present and the regional powers see no need to step in for America because to do so would bring the spotlight upon their own internal conflicts.
Will America leave behind a rump force in a strange land or does the nation commit more soldiers to an undefined mission minus the support of the international community?
Do we want to win?
These are questions for the new Congress, which has abrogated its duty to protect the public interest for too long.
And then there’s Social Security, which has been dangerously overshadowed by the war in Iraq.
The financing for Social Security needs to be stabilized and the political discussion needs to be refocused on how the program has been a lifesaver for countless Americans since Roosevelt and not something to be sneered at as a handout by a bunch of self-indulgent and racist political hacks (and their obnoxious flunkies on college campuses).
Also in need of the same sort of attention is U.S. government supervision of the private and state pension systems, but that’s another column.
Immigration may be the one issue that makes the newly-buff Democrats and the president burnish their street cred with the American electorate.
Remember, Bush was burned by his own party on this issue and had only the Democrats, maybe three moderate Republicans, and popular opinion on his side.
Even Bush seemed to forget this when he met with the press the day after the election. When reminded by a reporter’s query of the overlooked comity, the president visibly brightened and then ran off down the hall.
The White House and the new Congress would do well to share both credit and blame once we enter January 2007, and The Eye hopes the two are mature enough to do so.
The Eye is certain that the “Republican Revolution” is only in abeyance; the Democrats would serve their purposes well to tread lightly upon their return from the wilderness and remember the lessons learned during the dark times of the last 12 years.
While it remains true that Democrats are better-looking and have more fun, it is critical for them to remember that everybody hates a sore winner.
Just look at what happened to the GOP.