Monday, February 05, 2007

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.

12 Comments:

Anonymous david said...

The huge profits of monolithic corporations still pale against the wild spending of Washington.

How pathetic is it when Bush comes cap in hand to ask for billons more for war in Iraq & Afghanistan and offers to pay for it by cutting medicare, medicaid, and ceremonies welcoming veterans back from overseas. Talk about chintzy.

These are the Cut Tax & Spend More Republicans. (In contrast to the fiscally responsible Tax & Spend Democrats.) How shameless is it that these Christian Fascists see no problem in spending billions on War and wince at paying a dime for Peace.

If Iraq shows us one thing, it's that the Free Market is a sham and can't do much of anything but create Chaos and Destruction. Where is that Invisible Hand? It's quietly picking your pocket. And it's doing it with sanctimonious Self-Interest.

11:01 AM  
Blogger libhom said...

Thank you for supporting impeachment in your posting. The impeachment of Bush and Cheney is the most important issue facing this country and deserves overwhelming, bipartisan support.

9:10 PM  
Blogger illdoittomoro said...

Hi, i'm a UK student studying politics. i've gotta say that i agree with everything that you say here, however the reason that you find political parties unwilling to place large taxes on large, multinational companies, is because they are indespensabe in funding political campaigns. i must say that i find it apapping that you have no universal healthcare, i would have imagined that the one of the richest companies in the world would be able at leat to provide its citizens with some safety net.
anyway i must stop ranting.

4:41 AM  
Anonymous david said...

Pathetically, eight Republican senators who claim to be against the escalation or 'surge' of troops voted to support the Republican filibuster and thus prevent debate. They included Warner and Hagel. Shame. Shame. Will they claim later to have spoken out against escalation and hope no one points out their hypocrisy?

9:43 AM  
Anonymous drm said...

ha ha ha ha ha.. LGND, I did not know you were such the comedian.

"John Edwards is talking about poverty" Was this done from his 20,000-30,000 sq foot mega mansion on the clear cut forest land? or even better

"Hillary Clinton is suggesting that the public has a right to some of the grotesque profits being made by the oil companies"

How about obsence profits handed to wives of Presidents for writing garbage books? How about grotesque profits made from trial lawyer leeches like John Edwards? Did the grotesque profits that John Edwards made actually benefit one person besides himself? How many pension funds of school teachers, unions, blue collar people do you think invest heavily in Exxon/Mobil? I would say everyone of them. Maybe all these union folks should give back their pension gains due to the profits made by Exxon/Mobil. How many hundreds of millions is Nancy Pelosi and her husband worth? How much have they given back?

Wake up LGND, look at the richest members of congress and the majority are Democrats. You need to get some facts. The percentage of income taxes paid by the richest has gone UP during the Bush terms. Millions upon millions of lower income people have dropped off the tax roles, meaning they pay no income taxes, during the Bush terms.

How is it possible that the percentage of income taxes paid by the richest people has gone up during Bush?

5:05 PM  
Anonymous drm said...

David, You really are ignorant. You said, "Pathetically, eight Republican senators who claim to be against the escalation or 'surge' of troops voted to support the Republican filibuster and thus prevent debate."

Do you know what a cluture vote is? Let me explain, you need 60 votes TO CUT OFF DEBATE and force a vote. Voting against cloture means, DEBATE CONTINUES. You sure are a bonehead. 60 votes fo cloture WOULD HAVE ENDED DEBATE. is that clear enough for you.

So why is it Harry Reid is preventing debate by not allowing debate to occur on the Gregg ammendment? If Reid want's debate why exclude the Gregg ammendment?

I see BDS has really taken hold of you completely.

5:08 PM  
Anonymous drm said...

.... by voting against cloture, the Replubicans have voted to CONTINUE DEBATE. Pretty easy. A vote to end a fillibuster (a cloture vote) actually cuts off debate and forces a vote. If debate is what Harry Reid wanted the failure of the cloture votes ensures more debate

5:11 PM  
Blogger The (liberal)Girl Next Door said...

DRM--You can't seriously believe that can you? If a filibuster still required that the Party doing the filibustering actually keep speaking for hours on end, you would be correct, but that is not how it works in this day and age and I'm sure (at least I hope) that you understand this. By filibustering, in its current form, the Republicans shut down the debate. End of story.

The funny thing to me is that the Republicans had been (I love that I can now say "had") winning elections by dumbing down the public discourse and they now have the dumbest Americans as their base. At a time when even the most brain addled American is turning against this war, I'm giddy at the prospect of Republican Senators forced to explain the arcane rules of the Senate to their supporters. "I voted against my own resolution before I voted for another one." Have fun defending that one!

10:17 PM  
Anonymous drm said...

LGND,

Words mean things. A fillibuster prevents a "vote", it does not end debate. It is wrong to say Respublicans "cut off debate". I have no problem if the story read, "Republicans fillibuster prevents vote on Warner/Levin ammendment." That would be truthful and accurate. Saying a fillibuster ends debate is just wrong. I wonder if when the Dems were fillibustering judicial nominations the media reported that the Dems were stiffling debate? I highly doubt it.

The Senate can and should debate "all" the resolutions as long as possible. The only thing that was prevented was a vote on the Warner/Levin resolution. And why did read pull it off the table? Because he would not allow a vote on the Gregg Ammendment. If he wanted a vote on the Warner/Levin resolution then why not let the minority have a vote on their ammendment, the Gregg ammendment? What is Harry Reid afraid of? I would welcome votes on both ammendments, but would you?

2:07 PM  
Anonymous drm said...

lgnd,

funny how many on the left seem to use the "America is stupid" approach to explain Republican victories. Maybe, just maybe, Americans are smart and reject liberal/progressive ideas?

In stead of denegrating the Republians try debating your ideas in the open. Go out their and proudly state your positions and say what you believe. Don't hide, don't try and move to the middle, run as liberals/progressives I beg you.

p.s., name the last President who won running as a liberal/progressive. Doesn't that tell you something about how America views your ideas...

2:12 PM  
Anonymous david said...

drm, the problem with your argument is that it isn't borne out by the polls. Americans are far more liberal/progressive than their governments.

There are more Democrats than Republicans, but the Republicans spend way WAY more money on advertising and have the media all tied up.

And, although Clinton is more properly described as a centrist, one wouldn't know that from the rantings of the Right. So I'd say 12 of the last 30 years were liberal. Almost half. And about half of the last 100 years too.

5:36 PM  
Anonymous drm said...

david,

You are dreaming if you believe Clinton ran as a liberal. Let's see, how many candidates have been successful running on these platform issues

1. I will raise your taxes - Clinton ran on a "middle class tax cut" then once elected raised taxes
2. No abortion restrictions, yes to partial birth abortion, no to parental notification, government paid abortions
3. Government run health care
4. Gay marraiges
5. Gun control
6. Full government benefits for illegal immigrants
7. Increase welfare services

To list just a few.

Also, you are pretty silly to rely on "polls". I know anyone who justifies their argument by referring to a poll has no argument. Due actually believe polls mean anything? Do you ever read the internals of a poll? I believe voter registration is pretty close 1/3 dems, 1/3 repubs, 1/3 independents. Those percentages obviously fluctuate a few % all the time. If you look at most polls they way over sample Dems which obviously makes the polll meaningless.

The only poll that means anything is an election. That is why liberals turn to the courts to advance their agenda because they cannot do it at the voting booth.

9:36 AM  

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