It is almost 2:00AM the day after election day. I am tired having just driven to and from Dannemora to Clinton Prison to see a new client. I would usually do the trip as an overnight but it was last minute and I just did not want to miss voting.
I spent a lot of the day listening to the pundits on Fox and CNN handicap the races nationally. I haven't said much about politics on this blog because it is not the main point of the blog. Mostly "That Lawyer Dude Blog" is about the politics of law. National politics is mentioned only when it has something to do with law. Even then I try to talk about Policy more than Politics. That may change. I haven't decided. This post however is about what I think happened today.
First, the neo-conservative part of the Republican party gave away the House of representatives and probably the United States' Senate (right now Dems lead in Virginia, Missouri, and Montana)and basically have run off almost any moderate or libertarian in their midst's.
The pundits on CNN announced tonight was a big night for the liberals in the Democrat party. They are wrong. In the key races where Republicans were chased by Democrats, the Dems were almost to a man conservatives (as the Democrat party goes) and many of the losing Republican's were either moderates or conservatives with blemished records.
The net result is a more neo-conservative Republican caucus. Nancy Pelosi is the nations first Italian American Speaker of the House of representatives. She is also the first woman. She is liberal from northern California. She was raised by the First Italian American Mayor of Baltimore Md. She is old line Democrat. She is pragmatic. She is going to have to let her new more conservative brethren off the hook on some of the left's issues if they are going to be returned to office.
The Guy who took accused pedophile Mark Foley's seat barely beat Foley! How is going to be expected to hold that seat in two years? Senator-elect Webb from Virginia is a Reagan Republican. He really hasn't left that reservation. He just got sick of the Neo-cons. He will be to Harry Reid as Sam nun was to Tom Daschle...a pain in the ass. If the Republicans are more solidly neo-conservative, the Democrats are more conservative. Where does that leave the liberals? The moderates in the Democrat party, once they get their act together and realize they swing the balance of power, can work with either side to get their agenda passed.
The next two years do not bowed well for getting anything accomplished. George W. Bush is not Ronald Reagan. He does not have his talent for compromise because he is not as pure on the message. He doesn't understand it. He stays the course in a pure fashion, because he cannot figure out what the key principals are that he needs to protect. Hence he presides over a ridiculous deficit and fights a war that has no end in sight. He will have to compromise to accomplish his work. He seems unable to do that. He just doesn't get it.
He is also scared to death of another on soil attack. I am not sure that is political. My cynical friends think he is afraid to be the first president since Madison to be invaded on the mainland. He lives in abject fear of it happening twice on his watch.
I do not ascribe the same motivation to the President. I think he very much can not bear to see us lose anymore innocent lives in the USA. I think he is worried about our safety. He just doesn't understand that a real American knows that you cannot beat us, until you take away our freedom. Our freedoms make it impossible for the enemy to beat us. If Bush understood the eke points of American History, there would be no "Patriot" act. No Boarder Fence, no Torture program and no NSA Domestic spying. He would understand that trying to protect us by giving away our freedom neither makes us safe or free. That is the problem with the Neo-cons. They do not understand the basic tenants of our History. And that is why they lost the house. It is a major reason why they may lose the Presidency too. If the Neo-cons want some success, they will drop the more draconian demands of the Christian right (which is neither Christian or right) and coax the libertarian conservatives back into the fold.
Stop with the gay marriage amendments, and the stem cell research bans. Let Rumsfeld resign and go to Georgetown to live out his days. Concentrate on reducing the size of the budget and focus some tax cuts on people making Fifty to Two Hundred Thousand Dollars a year. Give Parents a real tax reduction for paying tuition, and cut some of the fat in the budget. (Start at Main Justice. If you guys would stop taking state crimes and federalizing them you could probably cut the size of the AG's office by more than half.)
The chances that debate in this nation is going to get any less polarized in the foreseeable future is slim or none.
One last note. To those that lost in their attempt to keep their House or Senate seats, Thank you for your service to our Country. To those who won seats... May God Spead you to safety. To those that ran and lost, never give up. And to you that voted, Thank you. From the bottom of my heart.