Wednesday, November 08, 2006
A Dissenting Voice
RIGHT AS ALWAYS. I was fully prepared to be cheerful and philosophical about the outcome of the election, especially since this site came closer to predicting the actual results than most of the right-wing blogosphere. But the sheer volume of cheerful, philosophical postings by conservative bloggers this morning gives me pause. Yeah, the Republicans might profit from the message sent by the electorate. And, yeah, a bunch of pretty dumb, listless, and corrupt Republicans got deservedly booted out of office.
Those are insufficient grounds for cheer. There's a lot more going on here than an object lesson for one political party. Of course it's possible to turn a blind eye to everything but that and go looking for bright spots, but bright spots are by definition merely spots. Here's some of the vast dark background the determinedly good losers are overlooking.
1. A lot of the Democrats elected may be "Blue Dog" conservative types, but this remains to be seen, and there's absolutely no doubt that the new House and Senate leadership is about as far left as you can get. That's not a good omen despite all the superficial talk about cooperation and reduced partisanship.
2. The Democrats, individually and as a party, still have absolutely no ideas to bring forward about anything. Their economic models are relics of Europe's suicidal romance with socialism, and their foreign policy models remain stuck in the self-hating time warp of Vietnam. Truthfully, they have no alternative to offer but partisan obstructionism. Politically, they are the Miss Havisham of America. This is an unmitigated disaster.
3. The Republicans remaining in Congress are still just as stupid as they were last week and last year, and their so-called leadership is even more pitiful than the Dems -- McCain and his self-absorbed disregard for freedom of political speech, Specter and his massively unsubtle resolve to sabotage the confirmation of conservative judges, Lugar and his positively iconic exemplification of all that is dull, inarticulate, and indecisive in the Republican political class... Well, you get the point.
4. We are still at war with an implacable, stateless, utterly irrational enemy prepared to wage their crusade over decades, while the supposedly enlightened among us who should be defeating them cannot think in timeframes beyond six months.
5. We are the complacent electorate who walked into voting booths across the nation yesterday and deliberately cut off our own noses to spite our face, voting in favor of higher taxes on ourselves, far more vicious political infighting in the Congress than we've been subjected to till now, and the absolute certainty of chaos and paralysis in the pursuit of foreign policy objectives that are vital to the national security.
A great day for American democracy? I don't think so. But go ahead and be cheerful, philosophical, humble, chastened, optimistic, gracious in your losing, and even (some of you) just a little smug. Fine. Just don't start whining in a few weeks or months when it turns out that Pelosi is Pelosi, Reid is Reid, Rangel is Rangel, Conyers is Conyers, Durbin is Durbin, Kennedy is Kennedy, and Robert Byrd is still venting his cobweb-filled head on the floor of the Congress. You won't find any sympathy here.
One more thing. The impeachment clock is ticking. Don't you dare doubt it, whatever they're saying today. Like the fable tells us, scorpions cannot change their fundamental nature. The American frog elected to give them a ride across the river. You all know what happens next.
There. Somebody had to say it.