Editor's Notes

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  A Look Back at November 2006November 30, 2006 22:32

November saw a historic shift in modern politics. To my surprise, Democrats took back both the House and the Senate. Donald Rumsfeld was given the boot. The daily civilian death toll in Baghdad rose above 200 on several days. The Democrats have already started squabbling over their winnings and, in some cases, measuring drapes for their new offices.

What does this hold for the future? I, for one, did not want the Dems to win both houses of Congress in this election. Unfortunately, it will make them a much easier target down the line. Our lame duck president, who redefines that term, will proceed to pick and choose amongst various foreign policy initiatives where Congress has little reach, knowing that he won't be able to get much done on the domestic front. His veto power will come into play more often and the Republican minorities in the House and Senate can be expected to add numerous poison pill amendments to good legislation because they will be able to filibuster (thanks to the fact that the Democrats convinced them to let parliamentary rules stand).

I am painting a bleak picture on purpose. The Democrats won in November not because of strategy or tactics, but simply because Americans are pissed. Without clear policies and direction to combat Bush's obstructionist tactics, the Dems will end up looking ineffective and wasteful despite their best intentions. The Democratic party needs to focus on passing legislation that Americans want including:

  • Defining a time table for withdrawing troops (and cutting spending) from Iraq
  • Expanding US investment in alternative energy sources
  • Cutting the middle class education handicap by lowering interest on student loans and increasing grant funding
  • Supporting logical welfare-to-work programs
  • Passing a national health-care system
  • Shoring up the Endangered Species Act so that it will stand and be funded for all time

If our esteemed Democratic leaders can handle this, I'll be pretty pleased. At this point, I'm not counting on it.


 
  If Democrats Cared About Kerry...November 01, 2006 13:29

John Kerry has done it again. He's demonstrated that even though he has a Yale education, a C student is still a C student. Senator Kerry actually rates a D- for public speaking, only avoiding an F because he thinks he was well meaning. That any public official could make statements about soldiers being poor students and survive in this political climate is pure stupidity. That a former presidential candidate did so is bad for the causes and people that he wants to represent.

However, if Democrats and socially-minded independents really cared about John Kerry, he would be President Kerry right now, not wanna-be president, but still senator Kerry. Bush can attack John Kerry all he wants, but still misses that point that people are now focused on the issues and not the characters.

As we approach the November 2006 elections, I'm sure that voter turnout will be relatively low, even though this is a high-focus off-year election. I, for one, have already voted and I encourage all registered voters of all affiliations to participate in our democratic process and vote. Just keep the following things in mind:

  • More Americans died from dog bites and the flu last year than from terrorism
  • Ballot initiatives are an end-run around our representative legislature government and are aimed at suppressing minority concerns
  • English-language amendments often get lots of press but have no teeth
  • Education is the future. Without better funded schools (and I don't support or refer to the 65% rule), we're doomed to ignorance, blind consumerism, and environmental destruction