Piling on to the other billion people already talking about this today, I figured I need to weigh in. First of all, in case you missed it, the Democrats took control of the entire congress yesterday. Of the 435 seats in the house, 229 are now dems and 196 are Republicans, leaving 10 still undecided or independent seats – a 33 seat advantage, or 52.6% of the vote. In the senate, Democrats control 50 seats, and Republicans control 49, and Lieberman (1) is our one-and-only independent, for a total of 100 senators – a 1 seat advantage, or 50% of the vote.
So, the Liberals will pretty much take every vote in the house, chair all the committees, etc, and Nancy Pelosi’s (news, bio, voting record) values (what I call San Francisco values) come that much closer to being pushed on the rest of us. In the Senate, absolutely everything will be a brutal fight, ’cause the group’s split right down the middle. But Harry Reid (news, bio, voting record) will likely be Majority Leader, and the committees there will all be chaired Democrat.
Want detailed results? Here you go…
My Thoughts (Can we really call it “analysis”?)
After 12 years of a Republican-controlled congress, which (in the mind of at least this conservative) did VERY little to advance conservative policy in this country. I understand why the country demanded change, even though I don’t think the change will be for the good … especially not in the near term.
On the up side, the Republican congress cut taxes in very effective ways at very important times, and I believe saved us from what could have been a really nasty economic period following the burst of the tech bubble in 2000, a number of corporate scandals, and 9/11. Also, welfare reform back in the late 90’s was a big deal. But the sad truth is that, at the moment, I can’t think of anything else for which to praise them.
On the down side, there’s lots to talk about. Nothing done on Social Security reform. Very little accomplished on immigration reform (kudos on the wall, and on not caving to the senate’s pseudo-amnesty-no-enforcement-at-all bill, but that’s about it). Out of control spending, the crown jewel of which is the brand spankin’ new $800 billion Medicare drug entitlement. And so forth.
All in all, as a conservative and a Republican, I’m pretty disappointed. Not much to show for 12 years of power, especially for the last 6, when we should have been conservatives with a passionate purpose … bending all three branches of government to our wily conservative ways. Muhahahaha!
But, thanks to naivete and underestimation in the war on terror, an intimidated-gone-too-far-to-stubborn (ready: cowboy) attitude on the part of President Bush, and a severe misunderstanding of how important it is to communicate well with the American people … we have lost the congress. Now, for the next two years, I believe here’s the agenda we have to look forward to (probably in this order)…
- Get out of Iraq as fast as possible
- Impeach President Bush
- Roll back the tax cuts
- Spin up the crazy entitlement spending machine
- Get Hillary elected
Doesn’t sound like the best way to spend the next couple years.