Monday, November 13, 2006

Yippee, We Have A Government Again!

There are many things that contributed to last weeks tidal wave for the Democrats, a riled up base, Republicans sick of the corruption within their own Party, the quagmire that is Iraq, but I can’t help but think that the images of Republican leaders refusing to do the job they were elected to do and instead using Capitol Hill and the White House as campaign props were in the minds of the voters when we cast our ballots last week. The image of President Bush flying in from his vacation in Crawford to sign a bill to prolong the life of Terri Schiavo juxtaposed with his singing and campaigning while Americans drowned in New Orleans had to have had an affect. Republican Congressmen pontificating on the House floor about flag burning amendments and gay marriage amendments while we have a healthcare crisis in this country showed even their base how ridiculous the Republican Party has become. Yes, GOP leaders hate government, and many rank and file Republican voters do too, but we all, regardless of Party affiliation, recognize that we need government in a crisis and that our government has been AWOL for each and every crises we have faced in the last six years.

Grover Norquist explained the conservative agenda perfectly when he said he wanted to get government “down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub”. Well, they didn’t manage that exactly, but they did bloat government to the point that it has broken its moorings and is now bobbing around aimlessly in open waters. The GOP did manage to get the majority of Americans to hate government, but I don’t think they counted on having that anger turned on them directly. Sometimes we Americans allow ourselves to be fooled, but sometimes we decide to see through the crap and actually punish those responsible. That, in a nutshell, is what happened last Tuesday. Despite the Republicans attempts to obfuscate the facts, smear the Democrats and run from their stark record of doing nothing for the last two years, the voters recognized who was to blame for our current sorry state, and acted accordingly.

It feels like the conservative swing in this country is over, but now it is up to the Democrats in Congress to give us a good push off in the other direction. I like the plan for the first 100 hours, raising the minimum wage, instituting lobbying reform, enacting the 9/11 Commission recommendations, cutting student loan interest rates, lowering prescription drug prices for Medicare, and after that, rolling back tax cuts for the rich and reinstituting “pay as you go” meaning that whenever you add something to the budget, you have show where that money is going to come from. In short, the Democrats are going to make sure that government works again and that it works for the majority of this country and not just for the benefit of the richest 1%. I know, it’s hard to remember back when the government worked for the people. It will certainly take some getting used to.


Blogger Stuart Rodgers said...

Do you really think that people have swung to the left? I would like to believe that, but I suspect it is more that the baseline has shifted and the Democrats look more like centrist Republicans and Republicans have become to extreme and drifted too far from their base. I suspect the policies we will see will be strikingly similar to what we have been seeing but will be advanced by the "liberal" party.

4:36 PM  
Blogger Stuart Rodgers said...

PS: we also disuss SOME politics, and other areas as well over at

4:36 PM  
Anonymous kindlingman said...

Well, Stuart, I hope that we will know what those policies are. For the past six years there has been no discussion of policies. Just legislation thrown out on the floor for a vote. If there were Republican policies on healthcare, minimum wage,etc., the republicans would have passed them. I certainly do not want the liberals to support any conservative policy the republicans failed to pass in the last 6 years.

6:07 PM  
Blogger The (liberal)Girl Next Door said...

Stuart--It's not so much that I think the country has swung to the left so much as I think we are done swinging to the right. It will take some time to move the general population back in a leftward direction, but the Democrats should start that movement immediately.

I do think that our government for the last six years has not adequately represented the majority feeling in this country. This is not a right center country, let alone an extreme right one and I think that we should move our politicians to the left where mainstream Americans really are. Starting with populist policies that have broad based support will be the key, for example raising the minimum wage, universal healthcare, renewable energy and energy independence all enjoy overwhelming public support, it's time for our politicians to join the conversation that ordinary Americans are already having.

9:49 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

I'm hoping that the right swings back to traditonal, pre-ronald reagan conservativism.

Teddy Roosevelt is one of my favorite presidents and would be a good model for Republicans to follow now a days.

10:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mollie, I can't wait for your first "dissapointment post" about the Dems. :)

12:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It's not so much that I think the country has swung to the left so much as I think we are done swinging to the right. It will take some time to move the general population back in a leftward direction, but the Democrats should start that movement immediately."

Um, liberal democrats were not elected in the midterms, conservative "blue dog" democrats were. The reason they were elected was because they weren't republicans AND they weren't liberal

"I do think that our government for the last six years has not adequately represented the majority feeling in this country."

I know you think that, but that is your delusion. Minorities do not carry elections.

"This is not a right center country, let alone an extreme right one and I think that we should move our politicians to the left where mainstream Americans really are."

Again, "mainstream Americans" are NOT liberal.

"Starting with populist policies that have broad based support will be the key, for example raising the minimum wage,..."

Uninformed electorate. I mean that's why those gay marriage bans keep passing right?

" universal healthcare,..."

Uh, pul-eeze! There is NO desire by most in this country for universal healthcare by the majority. That is part of the reason for the "republican revolution" in 1994 for Pete's sake.

" renewable energy and energy independence all enjoy overwhelming public support,"

I do believe you got that one right.

" it's time for our politicians to join the conversation that ordinary Americans are already having."

Well either you or I live in a world less "ordinary" but most of those initiatives are losers with the american public.

Just saying...

8:42 AM  
Blogger The (liberal)Girl Next Door said...

Will--I'm sure you won't have to wait too long.

Anonymous--Yeah, Sherrod Brown is a real Blue Dog (only a few conservative Democrats won this time)! And in case you didn't notice, several gay marriage bans didn't pass this time. You're the one living in the past my friend.

8:54 AM  
Blogger Michael said...


The big Democratic winners were, in my view, populists like John Tester. Populism doesn't fit very well in to the traditional left-right framework.

11:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Out of all those seats you pick one solitary liberal: Sherrod Brown.

Check it out:

"Centrists Deliver for Democrats"

It wasn't a vote FOR the Left, it was a vote AGAINST Bush.

Correct me if I'm wrong but the ONLY state to vote down an anti-gay marriage ban in the midterms was MY state, Arizona. You wanna know why? It lumped the unmarried heteros in with the gays and they weren't going to have any of that. That is the only reason. Had it only been an anti-gay marriage ban, it would have passed.

12:37 PM  
Anonymous Dale H. said...


"Just saying....."!

I love the intellectual laziness that dismisses out of hand without resort to fact. I believe that it must be a conservative

Majorities also do not necessarily carry elections.
See 2000.

Agreed, mainstream Americans are not liberal. Neither are they supportive of the incompetent ideologues who've led this Country into catastrophe abroad and intellectual and moral bankruptcy at home. (Not enough space or time to enumerate all of the examples of Repug turpitude and blatant stupidity, but take a mental check of the losers in last week's election.)

"Uninformed electorate"

"Uh, pul-eeze!" Repugs have just demonstrated, to the delight of most of us, that they CAN'T FREAKIN' WIN, without the turnout and votes of THE least informed among us. That's right, the very same people in the thralls of religious ecstasy/hysteria, induced by meth purchasing, closeted bisexual homophobes, are the ones that the Repug party panders to with all of their anti-science, niwitopian positions!

Find one of them. Take them to dinner. Discuss amongst yourselves a little
"intelligent design", a little Flintstone Geology!
Don't be patronizing, these are your folks! The Repug
Party has NO future without them.

Anti gay marriage amendments, what a HUGE waste of time, money and energy! As though heterosexual unions are either endangered by the codification of homosexual unions, or conversely strengthened by the prevention of same, is something you simply cannot muster a rational argument for. That leaves you with religious arguments, which were also used to justify discrimination based upon race. By the way, why are so called conservatives such busybodies when it come to what others are doing in their bedrooms?

And just how are "Family Values" promoted by preventing family "unions"?

The County may not be liberal, but neither is there a National consensus to Federalize what is nothing more or less than gender discrimination.

States will do what they can, just as they did with Jim Crow laws. the Federal Gov will eventually do what it must, with the equivalent of civil rights legislation that will have people, no more than one generation hence, puzzling over the issue the way most now puzzle over the de jure racial discrimination of the past.

As for national health-care, you peremptorily dismiss 12 years of additional evidence that our health care system is not working.

Talk about delusional!

"Universal health care: We can't afford not to
By Timothy Johnson

The most basic question about health care reform is an old one: Should basic care be a "right" for everyone regardless of income, pre-existing illness or bad genes — or should it be a "privilege" obtained by hard work or bestowed by good birth? We would never argue that police and fire protection should be distributed based on income, so why should health care?

That's an emotionally charged issue, but there is one observation almost everyone agrees with: Our present health care "system" (a messy mix of personal, employer and government health insurance) badly needs reform. We spend more than twice as much per person on health care as other industrialized countries do — about $6,100 here vs. an average of $2,550 elsewhere in 2004 — yet we are the only such country that does not provide universal insurance coverage. How can that be?

Unfortunately, there is often no correlation between amounts spent and results. For example, in 2000, Medicare spending in Manhattan was more than $10,000 per person vs. less than $5,000 in Portland, Ore. — and Portland had better treatment results.

We will spend more than $2 trillion (yes, that's a "t") on health care this year. Yet, we rank last among 23 industrialized countries in infant mortality.

One major reason for these appalling numbers is the huge number of uninsured or underinsured in our country who do not get timely care. So why not make health care a right so every American can potentially benefit from early intervention and better prevention?

The abuse argument

One of the arguments against universal coverage usually unfolds under the ironic label "moral hazard" — that if we morally weak humans are offered something "free" (meaning that someone else is paying for it) we will abuse it. For example, a bowl of free candy will disappear much more quickly than candy you have to pay for yourself. But that argument assumes people would consume health care in the same way they gobble down free candy. I think that conclusion is crazy. Other than seasoned hypochondriacs, who wants to unnecessarily visit the doctor or go into the hospital — just because you have insurance — instead of going to the beach or playing golf?

Of course, there will be some abuse, but that should be easily outweighed by offering many more of us a chance to be healthier, not to mention a better shot at "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

Indeed, the real moral hazard when it comes to health care is what we are doing right now: not providing basic care to our citizens through cost effective health insurance for everyone. Not only is it the right thing to do morally, but I would argue it makes sense economically by providing prevention and care in the early stages of disease when it will usually cost less and be more effective. Better to treat pneumonia early with antibiotics than end up in the intensive care unit on a respirator with lung failure.

Efficient care

Some experts argue that with more thoughtful use of the money we now spend (electronic records to replace paper, better bargaining for drug and device prices, etc.), we can provide basic care to everyone with relatively little increase in total expenditure.

Efficient health care systems such as the reformed Veterans Administration hospital system already make a case. The VA, which provides often excellent care, costs about $5,000 per patient annually vs. $6,500 for private Medicare patients.

And here is a final question: How long do we want to be known as the wealthiest country in the world — and the only one that does not provide universal health insurance when we could and should?"

Timothy Johnson, medical editor for ABC News, provides medical analysis for World News, Nightline, 20/20 and Good Morning America.

1:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dale dearest, you are why the dems' control will be short-lived should the GOP return to its conservative roots.

Your arrogance and your diarrea of the mouth.

So keep on clucking.

Liberal girl doesn't really want to bother with facts anyway, she just goes on to write about the way she thinks things ought to be rather than what they are.

1:44 PM  
Anonymous Dale H said...


You are a mess of condradictions, non sequitors and hypocrisy. Hmmm, planks in the Repug Platform?

Lotta facts in your response to my post.

Also seems to be a touch of
longing for things as you wish them rather than "what they are".

Do you require "links" to back up each and every one of my points?

let me know how your dinner with your fellow nitwits goes.

And don't hold your breath waiting for the GOP to return to its conservative roots. As long as ass hats like yourself are holding down the fort the GOP will continue its journey toward the dustbin of National politics.

2:15 PM  

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