Democratic Tone Deafness Cured
For the first time in a long time I’m starting to like the tone in Washington DC. One of the most persistent complaints about the Democrats since the Supreme Court installed George Bush as President has been their lack of opposition to the Bush agenda, courage of conviction and the spine to stand up for themselves, let alone the American people. What a difference an election can make.
Although I’d like to see the Democrats cut Georgie off at the knees and cut funding for this disastrous invasion, turned occupation, turned civil war, I do see that they are at least moving in the right direction. Chastising the President for his plans to escalate the war with a non-binding resolution is a start on that front, but the investigations into the selling of the war better lead to stronger action. With 58% of the American people simply wishing that the Bush Presidency was over, I’d say it’s time for the Democrats to give the people what they want and start moving toward impeachment. Not only is history crying out for justice (no President has ever deserved it more), but impeachment may be the only way to stop this reckless administration from attacking Iran, a move that would bring catastrophic consequences that, surprise, surprise, the ideologues in the White House are completely oblivious to yet again.
On the domestic front, I’m hearing snippets that suggest a Democratic Party going back to its roots. John Edwards is talking about poverty, Jim Webb is talking about the disparity of wealth and even Hillary Clinton is suggesting that the public has a right to some of the grotesque profits being made by the oil companies. She may be taking heat from the right-wing noise machine for even suggesting such a thing, but those of us not blinded by greed can see that she’s absolutely right. The middle-class has been paying more than its fair share while American corporations have been getting a free ride. As much as the possibility of “striking it rich” is part of the American dream, so too is the opportunity (mandatory though it may have to be) to give back and invest in the country that provided you your wealth. Republican rule has brought the rise of greed (as it always does, the opulent 80’s under Reagan comes immediately to mind) and the plummeting of responsibility.
Take, take, take may work for the few at the top, but the pleasure is temporary. It creates an unstable economy, but even more importantly, it erodes the moral foundation of society. Thomas Jefferson wrote in Notes On The State Of Virginia that the real danger inherent in slavery is the moral corruption of the master that results from one man owning another. I take issue with the importance he gave to this particular aspect of slavery, but the idea is a solid one and can easily be applied to our current situation where the gap between the rich and the poor is widening at an alarming rate. Something has to be done and I’m glad to hear Democrats at least starting to address this issue.
We have some very serious problems that must be addressed in this country, not least among them the very real danger of global warming. While the American Enterprise Institute offers money to anyone willing to pass out blinders by debunking the UN’s report on climate change, the rest of us better get serious about solving the problem. American industry (and obviously American over-consumption) has disproportionately contributed to the problem. Now they must be made to cough up the money to help fix it, and that starts with reinstituting some fairness in the tax code. It’s fine to start with going after the tax cheats, but it must end with a tax structure that forces responsibility, and limits the opportunity for excessive greed.
The changing tone in DC is encouraging, but action is what will really impress.