Friday, January 05, 2007

Negating the New Congress

So we did it. On Election Day, millions of voters made the conscience decision to fire the Republicans.

They live in the gutters now, devoid of national supremacy and the support of a fickle public.

In two years, we had gone from a dubious and barbaric mandate to a political climate of optimism and dread. Bush was a curse to other Republicans, and any decent campaign manager made sure he stayed far away.

The results sent a message to the rest of world, and confirmed that we are still somewhat sane, despite all that has happened. More importantly, the Democratic majority in the federal congress will also serve as a barrier against the fundamentalist bullshit we’ve been forced to eat for most of this decade.

In this new congress, we will not have to hear about a constitutional amendment discriminating against gay and lesbian couples. We won’t have to debate flag burning again, or argue over what a fetus can or can’t feel. No, those things can be left to the states.

What To Expect From The New Congress

For one thing, the new majority will focus on widely popular issues and act moderately.

We’ll probably get a minimum wage increase, which hasn’t happened since 1997. Of course, the proposed increase will pale in comparison with what actually passes for a living wage in most of the country, but I guess it’s a start.

We’ll probably get interest rates on federal student loans to decrease, which is a blessing for any college student on financial aid.

We’ll probably get a slew of new laws dealing with corruption. Of course, they probably won’t have much of an effect as members of Congress have already proven that they don’t care if they break the law, but at least we’ll have more to prosecute them with when they do.

We’ll probably see a lot of debates on health care reform. Naturally, none of it will lead to any socialized form of medicine, but citizens might get a few kickbacks when it comes to insurance costs.

What Not To Expect From The New Congress

We won’t be getting out of Iraq any time soon. Legislators will criticize the occupation and lament the death and destruction, but they won’t come far in implementing any concrete solutions before the next election.

We won’t be getting our civil liberties back anytime soon. The Patriot Act and Military Commissions Act won’t be touched. The Democrats are too cowardly to mess with any law that might have to do with terrorism. They’d rather bury habeas corpus than have votes come back to haunt them under the guise of national security.

We won’t be getting rid of poverty anytime soon. And let’s add in corporate malfeasance to that too. It’s because of Democrats what we have NAFTA and CAFTA. They’ve heard the arguments, but they just don’t care to act on them. They’re afraid of alienating members of the business community.

We won’t be making significant changes anytime soon. Pick your issue: environment, immigration, foreign policy, or crime and corrections. If it’s controversial in anyway, the Democrats won’t be doing anything.

In Conclusion

If you’re expecting a revolution, you’re going to be disappointed. The new congress is all about power, and holding on to it.

It’s going to take a very long time to reverse the damage that this country has shouldered for the past seven years, and the new congress is not composed of saviors.

Welcome to politics.


Blogger NYCbeauty said...

Great post...I agree with all of what you say. I started saying that stuff way back in the Clinton administration when everyone praised him and I kept saying, "but what about the anti-terrorism act and DOMA, and the telecommunications act" (all precursers to what is there now). And dearly departed Wellstone was the ONLY person in the senate or congress who had the guts to vote against the anti-terrorism act in an election year. So I know all about it. BUT, I'm still glad that people got out there and voted. Things like defeating the abortion ban in S.D. proved to *us*, at least, that there is a not-so-silent majority. Thanks for the post and WELCOME.

4:17 PM  
Blogger EMRosa said...

Much obliged.

Paul was the last of a dying breed. He processed integrity, and that’s why he won a seat in the Senate.

When he voted against the Iraq invastion in 2002, such a move could have very well cost him re-election. Polls were not good, and that was compounded with the fervor in those years right after the terrorist attacks.

But after his vote, polls actually showed him leading. People didn’t always agree with him, but they knew where he stood. They respected him for that.

You’ll see Bush reusing that mantra, but Wellstone wore it before he ever did.

I miss the guy.

10:56 PM  

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