Elections Bring New Landscape to Capitol

Elections Bring New Landscape to Capitol – New York Times

I had to laugh as I was driving to my first appointment today.

As the calls poured in to CSPAN, both Republican and Democrat, I was blown away by how collegial both spectrums of callers were. Democrats saying how greatful they were to have a chance to prove to the other half of the nation that they aren’t the cartoon characters that Republican leadership has painted them, and Republicans saying largely that they deserved to be beaten with the landscape the way it was.

Of course there was a crazy right-winger that said that Americans had effectively voted for terrorists and that he was going to make a fortune investing in body bags in anticipation of several American cities being “lit up” by nuclear weapons.

Crack me up.

At least the President struck a conciliatory tone today – actually admitting that in Texas they call what happened yesterday “a thumpin'”. He said that he had come to Washington to change the tone back in 2000 and had not been as successful as he would have liked – but now maybe he’ll have more luck.

Sure – since it’s mainly the Republican House leadership that was responsible for the one-party political freak show we’ve been witnessing for the past 12 years. Now maybe we can something besides opposition to gay-marriage, flag-burning, abortion, stem-cell research, letting Terri Schiavo pass peacefully, and any kind of intelligent look at the Iraq War on the legislative calendar.

He was also kind enough to invite the new Democratic Leadership to come over to the White House so they could have an exchange of ideas about how to solve America’s problems and, as he puts it, “Get Something Done” for America.

Bravo. But I’m confused. Isn’t that what responsible, representative goverment all about? Oh – I’m sorry, I forgot that the Republican Leadership’s mantra has been all about disenfranchising the half of the country that the Democratic representatives represent. It’s not surprising that it takes “a thumpin'” to bring the President back to the table.

One can only hope that the Democrats won’t respond in kind by putting the Republicans in the Political Siberia that they’ve been living in for the past 12 years and instead work from the Center creating good compromises for the debacles the Republicans have left behind on Medicare, Social Security, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, National Debt, Deficit Spending, 9/11 Commission, and Ethical Oversight to name a few.

One Party Rule has been demonstrated not to work – now it’s time for ALL our elected representatives in this country to come to the table and dialogue through these issues and work FOR the people they represent instead of USING those people for fodder for their own Political Machine.

I know this is probably a Utopian dream – but one can only hope.


11 Responses to “Elections Bring New Landscape to Capitol”

  1. scottie Says:

    One thing is for sure

    When Webb is declared the winner of a very close race in Virginia, many people will regret not voting. The closeness of this race speaks volumes for Senate balance.

    The Democrats better put up or shut up. They have been criticizing and criticizing Republican policy for years now, and always the same tone, “the Republicans control the Senate, the House, and the White House, thus we are powerless.”

    If and when the Dems have a small majority in the Senate and a sizable majority in the House, they better engage the Republicans and get things moving quickly, or there will be no excuse-making.

    Many Americans forget how Congress gave up their power to declare war and handed it nicely-packaged to Pres Bush, only later to criticize the nature of the war and its deceit-laden commencement.

    Many of the critical Dems have themselves to blame for the current quagmire, and that fact is often overlooked.

    Hopefully, the two sides can work as a group and serve the American people, and not special interests, nor their Corporate-America-sponsor- slavemasters.

    When the smoke clears, if progress is not made, then we will have to again resume the discussion on the need for another party to gain grassroots support, or the ultimate taboo, discuss further the national referendum (attack away Butch).

    As an aside, yesterday when i cast my vote, we had several issues to be decided by referendum. Outside the voting building, there were explanations of the measures to be voted on, and i read them all, and i was flabbergasted.

    I am an educated person with an above-average vocabulary and slightly-above-average intellect and i could not understand the issue to be voted on in 2 cases, because the issues were explained in legalese, and not plain english.

    I had to wonder if ever there was an adoption of the national referendum, the provisions would have to be explained so even the lowest-iq voters could make informed and thoughtful decisions.

    “If it wasn’t for lawyers, we wouldn’t need lawyers”

  2. JohnnyB Says:


    Funny how collegial everyone is after the Democrats win, eh? What, no endless pissing and moaning in Virginia and Montana? No garbage conspiracies about Diebold voting machines…no bitching about Democratic secretaries of state?

    Might have something to do with the fact that this swept the nation, but here in Ohio in 2004 there was a lot of trumped up nonsense and conspiracy theories bandied about, but you don’t hear republicans talking that way now in VA or MT, for instance.

    Regarding Dems, I doubt they’ll put up much. Their strategy was to shut up and keep quiet about their agenda (do they have one), which was wildly successful, and smart.

    Hope Bush starts vetoin’. Gridlock in gov’t is good.

  3. Logipundit Says:

    He better warm up that pen, that’s for sure. Yeah, it is strange you don’t hear cries of voter fraud, isn’t it?

    40 years of Democrat rule in Congress, followed by 12 years of Republican rule in Congress. Therefore:

    60 years of insane and uncontrollable growth in Government…

    A few comments about particular races:

    Thank God Lieberman won…that means two Independents in the Senate…when is the last time that happened? It also means that this election was not ENTIRELY a referendum on the Iraq war.

    Allen deserved to lose, because he had absolutely nothing constructive to say. Webb was not the best option; I would have rather seen Mark Warner run.

    Tragedy that Steele got beat, mainly because I wanted to see what the Congressional Black Caucus had to say when he showed up for his first meeting.

    Too bad Santorum went down, but that’s what he gets for actually saying what he actually means in a swing state like Pennsylvania.

    Overall, definitely the best thing to happen to the Republican party in about 12 years. A wake up call if you will. Unfortunately, the party leadership wasn’t sufficiently punished, since they managed to keep their seats.

    They’re effectively useless, though, and hopefully the new leadership got the message that the Republicans need to stop acting like Democrats, and go back to what’s left of their Reaganite roots.

    Viva la Gridlock!

  4. Anonymous Says:

    I’m betting Bush works with the Dems on everything, including Iraq. Why? Because the last two years are all about building up the legacy and positioning the party for the next election. If no substantive legislation passes during the remainder of his term, what will he be remembered by? If the GOP keeps the Senate…Mr. Bush should be very careful with that veto pen. (Ripster – who cannot remember his password at this time)

  5. scottie Says:

    i wouldnt call liberman an independent

    names are deceiving

    he is still a democrat, but supported the iraq war

    i am absolutely elated santorum got booted

    he sponsored legislation once that called for federal funds withheld from universities if faculty or students criticized israel …

    butch got it right (it’s about time)

    60 years of uncontrolled government growth

    as far as the whining is concerned, i have to say that in 2000 when i voted for bush (i still wake up in the middle of the night screaming from that one)i remembering thinking gore was shameful in not conceding.

    there were irregularities, no doubt.

    i didnt buy into the 2004 voter fraud nonsense

    the republicans sunk campaign dollars and grassroots efforts to get people from ohio to the booths, and the dems took for granted ohio was theirs

    it was absolutely a tactical error, and not the result of fraud

    anyway, time for a change
    lets just hope there is a plan in place, and not just post-election jubilation that leads to static policies

  6. JohnnyB Says:

    “I know what you mean, a lot of folks feel the same way.” Sound familiar? As the token conservative on campus (of about 50,000), I said this a couple of times yesterday. I ran into one of the secretaries yesterday and asked how she was, “Lots of good news today.” ‘Oh, did you get a raise or something?’ I thought. She informed me that the election results were the good news. “Oh, yeah, a lot of folks feel the same way.” I had a similar conversation with my boss.

  7. Logipundit Says:

    I think it would be a mistake for Bush to all of a sudden become more liberal because Democrats are control Congress. Using the pen is not by definition “not getting things done” if it controls government spending and holds Democrats accountable for realistic solutions in Iraq.

    “Bring them home” ain’t gonna work if we end up having to write Iraq off as a loss.

    I would venture to guess (just a guess) that a lot is going to ride on James Baker…whether we like it or not. He doesn’t get involved in token commissions. He’s a bigger player than W ever will be, President or not.

  8. JohnnyB Says:


    Actually W sounds pretty darn conciliatory as of yesterday. I love when he speaks in tautologies when reporters ask stupid questions. One asked, “Why has your tone changed so much since Monday?”

    W: “Because the election is over; the Democrats won.”

    Maybe with the Democrats in legislative power the media will send out a bunch of feel-good stories about Iraq so the Dems can get the credit. The whole point is to pull out on a high note so we can call it a victory.

    I’m curious to know why Baker is so important…this might even result in more site consensus.

  9. DC Offline Says:

    I appreciate all the comments on my post here – a testament to the great readership Logipundit commands!

    Ironically, we aren’t the only one’s reading DC Offline’s eloquent ramblings – if you pick up a copy of the Washington Post Express at any Metro Stop today here in DC, this post is quoted on their “Blog Log”.

    Viva la readership!

  10. Rip Says:

    True or not, it seems to me that most politicians (Bush included) think passing legislation is “getting something done”. This is why any bill that he can spin as an achievement will become law.

    Regarding the use of the pen to control the size of government, I would venture that the incoming congressional class as fiscally conservative (more, in some cases) than than those leaving. The key difference is that Dems want a different kind of spending than the GOP (redistribution vs. local earmarks/pork). Also, I don’t think the Dems will put anything outrageous (such as federalized health care, etc) on the table before ’08.

  11. JohnnyB Says:

    When Robert Byrd was in charge of ways and means he went to town on pork projects. I think Rip’s comment should be refined:

    Republicans: pork + defense

    Dems : pork + welfare

    The welfare reform 10 years ago was a big step forward for the country, and the republican party. One thing E et al need to keep in mind is the budget did get balanced with republicans in charge of two houses of the legislature, and I think we all agree that the legislature has more control over appropriations than the executive branch?

    Not to say they didn’t mess that up. Bridge to nowhere? No child left behind? Hello?

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