Sunday, May 14, 2006

Idiots in waiting

The NY Times today runs an article on a theory put forth by some Democrats that the party would be in a better political position if it narrowly lost both houses of Congress. Martin Frost, a former Democratic representative from Texas says:
They don't have to worry about passing anything and it gives them freedom to be critics. There's a certain liberating aspect of being in the minority in the short term, but I don't recommend it in the long term.
Tony Coelho, a former Democratic House Whip(ped) says:
The most politically advantageous thing for the Democrats is to pick up 11, 12 seats in the House and 3 or 4 seats in the Senate but let the Republicans continue to be responsible for government. We are heading into this period of tremendous deficit, plus all the scandals, plus all the programs that have been cut. This way, they get blamed for everything.
To be fair, not all Democrats agree. In particular, Bill Clinton disagrees:
I don't buy the argument that we'd be better off if we almost got there and didn't win a majority in either house. I think when you suit up you've got to try to win, and I hope we will win because we will get better public policy and it'll be better for America.
Clinton's right. Listen fuckwads in the Democratic party - it's this type of wishy washy bullshit that turns a lot of people off to you fucks. You pay some goddamned lip service to wanting the job, bash the Republicans to hell and back (or let them build the tracks for the last train to Borgville) and then openly discuss the fact that you may not want the job after all?!!? Fuck you and the mother of a horse you rode in on. You don't deserve the damn job if you keep acting like this.

Mr. Coelho and Mr. Frost: let me provide you with a civics lesson. It's one that I've been preaching to Democrats since 1994 and they seem to forget it every year that there's a Presidential election, but I'll try it again in this off year since you shits don't seem to get the concept. Congress writes the laws. Certainly, the Executive branch carries out the laws and the Judicial branch rules when either the laws violate the Constitution or when the laws themselves are violated, but Congress creates the laws. Congress approves budgets. The Senate approves appointments, including those to the Judicial branch. Got it? Yes, the executive branch is nice to hold, particularly to have a figure head for the party, but it's not the seat of Constitutional power. Congress holds the real power and it's the real prize to win. While the executive branch can propose budgets and legislation, those are just that - proposals - and Congress can choose to take them up or present it's own. (Damn it, people, go back and read Newt Gingrich from the early to mid 90s and before. Yea, I think he's a bastard, too, but he understands the Constitution).

Have you idiots been out of power so long that you've forgotten how our system is supposed to work?!!? Granted, the Republicans have thrown these concepts out of the window in clear disregard of the Constitution, but that doesn't mean the system is beyond righting. If Democrats regain power, then they have a right to pass legislation that reigns in the Presidency. If Democrats regain power, then they have the opportunity to pass legislation that benefits the middle class and the poor and puts this nation's economy on better footing. If Democrats regain power, then they have the opportunity to demonstrate their leadership during hard times before the next Presidential election - making the case for the next Democratic candidate all the easier.

Sure, Bush can veto the legislation and, without a 2/3 majority in both Houses, the veto will stand. Seeing as the public currently doesn't care much for Bush's ideas, such vetoes won't bode well for Republican chances in 2008. (In fact, it would be a smart move on the Democrat's part to work with Republicans where possible to craft legislation to address some issues proving that unlike the Republican party, Democrats can not only work with the other party, they can do so for the benefit of the country.) Another problem for Bush is that he is a lame duck president anyhow, so his power, while formidable, is waning. Finally, if Democrats regain power, then they will have the power of investigation, which is a powerful tool to negotiate with and to blunt Presidential power.

Now, having said all of that, the Democratic party is definitely being overly optimistic. This is going to be a very tough election year. The manner in which gerrymandering wields power over the outcome of elections is not to be underestimated. Districts were drawn mostly by Republicans in the last cycle and Republican and moderate districts are going to be difficult battles. Remember what Tip O'Neill said: "All politics are local." In this scenario that means that while people may not like Bush, don't like the direction the country is heading, and certainly aren't happy with the Republican Party, they like their local Republicans. Sounds crazy, but they think the other Republicans are screwing things up; not their Republican.

In other words, a little less licking your chops over the latest poll numbers while on camera would be to your benefit. A lot more humility and focus on your positive ideas would do a world of good. Don't get sucked into the questions about your agenda when you get elected (say something like, "If the American people allow me to serve them in Congress, my goal will be to work to better their lives in a number of areas, including...") And for godsakes, quit talking about the glory of being losers!

No comments: