lundi, octobre 16, 2006

My Number Two Wish for the 2006 Elections

This post is part of a series listing my ten wishes for the upcoming election. Each day I will post one wish starting with number 10 and working my way up to the wish I desire most. Because we should think globally and act locally, you’ll notice a Minnesota slant to my wishes. If you’re a progressive or a liberal or a left-wing nut job from another state, I hope your wishes come true too. And now, without further delay, here’s today’s wish…

2. Democrats regain control of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate

I won’t even say why – it’s been ground we’ve covered so much. It’s time for change in Washington. Only the nuttiest nuts approve of the job that Congress is doing.

It’s said that most people exist in the political middle – being devoted to neither the left nor the right. If that’s true, then I would suspect that moderate republicans and everyone to the left of them would find value in a Democratic Congress to check the Conservative Executive branch.

Though it may not have been the most efficient model of all time, Newt Gingrich (for all my distaste for the man) made a fine foil during the Clinton years. We seem to work better when there is balance among the estates (executive, legislative, judicial, media). During the Clinton years, the balance of light (Clinton) and dark (Gingrich) led to some reasonable effective (though often polarized) government.

And if it’s good to have balance between the Executive and Legislative branches when the Executive is generally moderate and successfully pointed toward running the country well, it’s particularly true when the Executive is a corrupt incompetent bent on advancing oil interests and pioneering our migration toward an authoritarian theocracy.

Simply put, the Bush administration needs a check on its authority. And yes, Republicans have beat a hasty retreat from their past ties to the man, but we can’t really trust them to encourage Bush toward sensible policies, now can we? If the Republicans retain the majority in the House and in the Senate (and by all accounts it’s going to be very close), we can count on two more years of the Bush Administration, or, stated differently, two more years of failed domestic and foreign policy.

Two very quick examples:

From the foreign policy arena, I would point to the report prepared jointly by 17 national security agencies outlining how the war against Iraq has exacerbated global terrorism. I would also suggest that our focus on Iraq – really just an effort to maintain empire by maintaining access to the natural resource that fuels our empire (the British Empire was primarily fueled by coal, our empire, such as it was, was primary fueled by oil) – distracts us from more pressing foreign policy issues in Afghanistan and North Korea (to name but a few examples). We’re not safer under Bush. All the wiretaps and unlawful detentions and torture can’t cover up the fact that our leader is blind and a fool to boot.

From the domestic arena, I would point to the Bush tax cuts. We were told that they would stimulate the economy. Perhaps they have – the Dow is nearing 12,000, but the housing bubble might burst. Just like always, for every bit of good economic news, there is some bad news to share as well. Still, there is no denying that we went from a balanced budget to a record deficit. One in 12 tax dollars that are sent to Washington D.C. go toward interest on our federal debt (our national debt is $8.5 trillion). That is a failure of leadership and a result of an incompetent Administration not checked by Congress.

Next month, we have a chance to put a check in place. And if ever a President needed a check, it’s this President.

I recognize that voters tend to dislike Congress, but like their Congresswoman (or Congressman), but more is at stake this time that all that. The House race is going to be very close. The Senate race is going to be very close. If my wishes are going to come true, then the tide has to turn. If your representative is a rubber stamp for the President, then vote the scoundrel out.