Wednesday, November 08, 2006

IF IT’S BROKE, THEN DAMN IT, FIX IT!

The title of this post concisely states the message that the electorate sent yesterday. The exact power of the message may depend on a few thousand votes just south of the Potomac, but the nature of the message is unmistakable.

Clearly, this wasn’t just a simple break; it was a compound fracture. First and perhaps foremost, everyone is tired of the corruption – it was one thing to learn of the existence of an unbelievable hypocrite, Mr. Foley, and it was quite something else to see his disgusting conduct covered up by the leaders of America’s majority party in the House. Democratic partisans might explain the cover up on the fact that Republicans are evil. But that’s not the story here, folks. The Republicans just got fat, that’s all. They got so used to tasting success that they became unaccountable, gluttonous, ruthless and, ultimately, humiliated. Truly, there’s nothing wrong with the Republican party that a vegan diet couldn’t solve. It’s worked for me – I’m now down to 6’ 170 pounds … but I digress …

Why do I think that the GOP lost its compass and pretended that we had, not a democracy, but a one-party system -- one in which the majority party is justified in doing anything it takes to consolidate and expand its power? Consider the election of 2004. At the time of that election, we had virtually as much info as we have now about the Mess-o-Potamia (to use a Jon Stewartism). But what happened? The President who brought us the war got substantially more votes than he did four years earlier. If you were a Republican leader, wouldn’t you feel a bit omnipotent in response to those results? Wouldn’t you feel that your power was a tad absolute? Anyway, we all know what happens with absolute power.

The second fracture manifested last night involves the situation in Iraq. People really want that repaired, and they trust the Dems more than the GOP to repair it. Fair enough, but believe me, fixing that mess is easier said than done. Iraq, before the war, was an egg, and not just any egg. It was a smelly, rotten egg. So what did we do? We unscrambled it. Now, the American public wants it scrambled again. That would be fine, except that the last time I checked, Superman wasn’t on the ballot last night. And say what you want about Nancy Pelosi, but even her defenders admit that she doesn’t have telekinetic powers. She can’t read minds, she can’t lift objects with thoughts alone, and she can’t cause sounds to be seen and sights to be heard. In short, we’re screwed in Iraq and no election can change that. But at least our electorate is now smart enough to recognize the need to do something, anything, to alter our course.

That brings me to the third fracture. It’s called excessive partisanship. For those of you who haven’t read The Creed Room – remember, you can walk your fingers right over to Amazon.com and order it faster than I can say “they’ve declared a victor in Virginia” – perhaps the greatest lesson any of us (including the author) can learn from that book is that we as a society can’t take on any of the major problems in this country or in this world unless we can reach some kind of relevant consensus. Global warming? Poverty? You name it. If this country remains splintered, polarized, and unwilling to listen to “the other guys,” we’ll never muster the power we need to fight those foes. Last night, the electorate seemed to recognize this fact. Last night, they seemed to calling for an era where moderates are being taken seriously, and nobody is allowed to roll over half of America.

9/11 proved that we can come together to battle a group of enemies who gratuitously killed thousands of our citizens. But there are other ways of destroying societies than with military means, and right now, we’re incapable of joining together and battling those enemies. Just look at the global warming situation. Al Gore tried to demonstrate why this is a huge problem – pretty persuasively, if you ask me -- and half of the country reacted simply by laughing at the story teller.

Folks. We have a problem. And that problem cannot be solved by one party rule, at least if that party doesn’t go out of its way to embrace people on the other side of the aisle.

Fortunately, the electorate is on to the above problems. And I, for one, will sleep better accordingly. To those who are afraid of Speaker Pelosi, I would simply say to get over your sexism and recognize that a woman doesn’t have to be a shrinking violet to be worthy of your affection. To those on the other side who are afraid of recounting votes, I would say that at the end of the day, it matters less who controls next year’s senate than that we feel we live in a functioning democracy. And to those who perpetrated those disgusting racist attack ads, let me say that I have no words for you that contain more than four letters. Perhaps I should learn to love my enemies, but I’m still working on that. For now, all that I can say is that your names should be identified, the media should do major exposes on who you are and what you are, and never, ever again should anyone feel free to peddle the type of filth that you peddled during the past several weeks.

For a utopian like me, even when everyone else is celebrating, there’s always time for a Jeremiad. And so, I will end this post with one. Those Democrats out there who are rejoicing, and who are contemplating the day that they can become as gluttonous and complacent as the GOP had become, just consider this: The RNC ran adds with a white pseudo-slut winking at a black candidate. And now, not coincidentally, you continue to live in a country that has never had two black senators in office at the same time.

There’s still work to be done, folks. Plenty of work. But at least some people woke up. And progress, even baby steps, is always appreciated.

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