Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Quack, Quack. Limp.

(Image courtesy of The Architect of the Capitol.)

Congratulations to all who won posts during this year's mid-term elections in the U.S. As you probably know, the Democratic party has taken control of the U.S. House of Representative and has won a slim one vote majority in the Senate.

To the Democratic Party, I raise a glass in well-deserved salute. I’m happy. I’m pleased. I’m jubilant. Before we get all punch-drunk on the sweet wine of victory, I would like to take a moment to climb upon my soapbox and offer a warning.

It's pretty clear that the American voters weren't drawn so much to the Democratic platform as they were disgusted by the behavior and actions of the Republican Party of the last few years. The War in Iraq is probably the biggest beef; there are (sadly) many others.

If Democrats would like to maintain, and perhaps even extend their control of Congress, they must be seen as not only an ethical alternative, but also an effective one.

In 1994, Republicans offered the Contract with America. I believe they won control because they seemed to offer a coherent message, even if it was one that vilified the poor and played off of people’s fears.

In 2000, Republicans won the Presidency for two reasons. First, the Democratic candidate failed to provide charm and reassurance. Second, the public was tired of hearing about the infamous blue dress and peccadilloes of their then current Commander-In-Chief.

As a result, one who promised to be a "uniter and not a divider" and seemed to be someone who would be good to have over for dinner with his homespun "charm" turned out to be more desirable than a tired and snippy Al Gore during their first debate.

In 2004, the Democrats were disorganized and unable to present a coherent, compelling message.

In 2006, the only compelling, coherent message the Democrats have been able to present is the fact that the current administration is corrupt, far too secretive, and completely at sea with regard to the war in Iraq.

Moving forward, I believe the American public wants the following:

• The open and honest government promised by Nancy Pelosi, the presumed Speaker of the House.
• A restoration of the rights stolen by the far right.
• A genuine solution to the Iraq crisis, one more compelling than "peace with honor."
• A return to balanced budgets and fiscal responsibility.
• Genuine tax relief for the lower and middle classes.
• Genuine progress on the symptoms that lead to terrorists, rather than policy that simply creates new ones by ignoring the mistakes that have gone before.
• To be treated as something more intelligent than hapless sheep.

My challenge to the Democratic victors is to meet these and other benchmarks.

As for the soon-to-be-not ruling Republicans, well, if they were somehow able to set aside their narrow-mindedness, their tin-plated delusions of Manifest Destiny, their greed, and their pride, they might also see a way to provide a proper agreement with the American Public, one that actually returns to a focus on fiscal responsibility and ethics.

And, finally, to President Bush, I offer this insight for your "legacy." You have acted as the last defender of Truth, Justice, and the American Way. Yesterday, the voting public provided very clear feedback regarding your ideas. Did you hear? Will you finally demonstrate grace and understanding? Or will you limp into History, vying with Herbert Hoover as one of the least effective Presidents in history?

Please, recognize the message that's been very clearly communicated. Do more than ask us to lunch. Ask not what you can take from your country's consumers, but ask what you can finally do to serve them with honor, integrity, and genuine compassion (no matter how conservative).

If you do not, I'm afraid your final years of office will be spent as an invalid fowl.


Blogger Jane Poe (aka Deborah) said...

Well stated ... I hope the Dems embrace this opportunity, become cohesive, strong and mission-driven. It's time to get our country back on track nationally and globally. Hopefully, they will present us with an effective presidential candidate in a few years who can start mending fences and repairing the mess that BushCo has created.

7:36 AM  
Blogger paris parfait said...

I agree with most of your points - very well put. But I hope the Democrats also institute voter reform and affordable health care. At the moment the US seems far too divided between the "haves" and the "have-nots," an unfortunate legacy of Bush & Co being more interested in lining the pockets of their friends (i.e. Cheney and Haliburton) and cronies than in helping the middle class and the poor.

Am glad you started a blog. Nice to "meet" you - I already know you have good taste, being married to the delightful JP.

10:25 AM  
Blogger Footpad said...

Thank you, Tara, for your kind words. I agree with you regarding the need for universal health care; I would fight for that if I was in that position, but I'm not convinced that we, as a nation of voters, are willing to truly support what that would require.

You are very correct, we are too divided. And far too many of our leaders are lining their own pockets at our nation's expense.

Yes, I'm very pleased to meet you, too; I enjoy reading your work. And thank you for being such a good friend to JP.

10:55 PM  

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