Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Bellwether for King George

Image from The Commons, a blog that offers an itemized list of the King's court, "Like the Mafia, Only Dumber," among other tidbits. Check 'em out.

CNN poll compared the dissatisfaction with Congress among voters from 1994 to 2006:

Just weeks before crucial midterm elections, a new poll says nearly three quarters of Americans see Congress as out of touch, much as they did in 1994, the last time the minority party took control of Capitol Hill.
Seventy-four percent of respondents to a new Opinion Research poll say Congress is generally out of touch with average Americans.
That's a 75% negative rating in 1994 and 74% now in 2006. The latest Gallup poll (10/9-12/06) reports a congressional disapproval rating of 71%. Other polls give advantage to Democrats winning the House. You can even play the Iowa Electronic Markets on which party will win the Senate and the House. The odds favor a House Democratic takeover.

The almost daily revelations of some new Republican under investigation, before an ethics committee, sentenced to a jail term, or pleading guilty stacks up. Ney, Cunningham, the Mark Foley enablers, Libby, Abramoff and his buddies, Reed, Ralston, Rove, Mehlman. Plus the Texas exterminator, Tom DeLay, and more recently, Curt Weldon (R-PA). The list grows and incites a throw the bums out voter uprising. BooMan posted a report from Rep. Henry Waxman, Ranking Member of the House Government Reform committee, "on the relationship between Jack Abramoff's lobbying firm and the White House." All 93 pages of smoldering corruption.

So what if voters fed up with Washington Republicans vote the Democrats in as the majority in the House and give them more seats in the Senate? What's next? I have some advice for what it's worth.
  • Weed out corrupt Democrats now: Time to clean house. Steny Hoyer has been too cozy with K Street so neutralize him. Do it. The Republicans will unleash the hounds so the Dems had better sweep up first and have replacements ready after resignations for personal reasons. The Information Age makes everyone with shady dealings vulnerable. Don't serve up anything to the Republicans. They'll gleefully make up stuff so that's challenge enough. Take the lead. Shore up the party by cutting the dead limbs off.
  • Voter reform: Voter fraud must end and correcting the e-voting scam-flam must top the list. Put democracy first with a paper trail for audits. That will counter Republican gerrymandering over the past decade and should foster more voters, probably more Democratic voters. Extended voting hours helps especially Democratic-leaning working moms.
  • Subpoena power: Investigate war profiteering and the gross malfeasance of Iraq's reconstruction. Every bloody detail. Follow the money trail and Cheney may line up in the crosshairs like a shady Agnew only worse. This first investigative effort can pay off big in softening up Republicans, put them on the defensive before going after bigger game like impeachment, Patriot Act revisions, warrantless wiretapping, and the detainee bill. War profiteering will disgust Americans by reminding 'em of the Iraq debacle and corrupt Republicans. No one will be able to paint Dems obstructionists if they're going after swindlers of the people's money and the buzzards who profited from a war that killed and maimed civilians and U.S. soldiers. Revamp oversight but chose the battles wisely and build on them.
  • Attach legislation to bills Bush can't veto: You know, war appropriations with a minimum wage increase attached to it. Let's play chicken, shall we, with an unpopular president? Most Americans want out of Iraq. Let the debates begin. Democrats must remember the mandate is to stop King George from unsuccessfully colonizing another country.
Just a few ideas to get the ball rollin'. With so many repairs to make, the goal is to pave the way to 2008 to further more restoration. Progress one step at a time and leap when the Republicans stumble. Be prepared for both and take the opportunity to pitch the high hard fast balls. The nation's immediate future relies on controlling the Dauphin from further foreign policy blunders like Iraq and nuclear proliferation in the world. Steering us back from the ranks of rogue nations would be nice but hard to do until Bush is gone.

I'm sure more ideas with come to me. Campaign finance reform, enacting the 9/11 Commission recommendations, overhauling the prescription drug bill fiasco, to name a few. And there are other political strategies in tamping down the religious Right's hyperbole and remaining visible in local communities but that's another topic. In the meantime, tour around the mind of the Bush follower and then there's the attack of the "falafel King" on Nancy Pelosi. I smell conservative desperation. Sales of paper shredders may be brisk inside the Beltway.

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