Tuesday, November 07, 2006
The March of Folly
Well, the election is over, and the Democrats appear to have pulled it off -control of the House and enough Senate seats to call it an across the board win, even if they don't end up with a majority there.
This is a moment they have long been waiting for, and it's understandable that they wish to enjoy it to the maximum. Oddly enough, it's neither a victory nor a defeat..simply a scenario for inertia, livened with enough of a spirit of self immolation to keep the body politic from focusing on the real challenges we face as a nation.
What we can expect, of course, is not the sky falling in..but an intensified concentration on settling old scores and a curtailing of our ability to defend ourselves at a time when our nation is perhaps in the greatest peril we have ever faced.
George Patton was once quoted as saying that Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser. In that respect, last night was a repudiation of the leadership of George W. Bush. If we had a parliamentary system, he would have been shown the door a long time ago.
Tonight's results reflect the frustration of the electorate with President Bush..and to be fair, with a lot of the GOP mainstream leadership. One can only say one thing and do another for so long before people simply get fed up. Unfortunately, a lot of innocent bodies went down in the carnage.
Many of those casualties can be laid squarely at the feet of the president.
President Bush, among his other failings simply didn't get Iraq and the War on Jihad right. Nor was he able to perform one of the primary tasks of leadership..communicating policy to the electorate. Bush tried, but ultimately failed, even when given a second chance to get it right in the `04 election.
It's one thing to make a decision to charge up a hill..and an entirely different thing to convince people that it's a good idea, make them see it as important and convince them to follow you.
This election, contrary to what the usual pundits will say is a confused result born of frustration and thus will simply produce more of the same when the new Congress gets to Washington. Unfortunately, the new Congress is unlikely to provide anything else.
While a number of the freshman Democrats newly elected are more conservative in some ways ( the so called `Blue Dog' Democrats) and even an improvement on some of the Republicans that took the fall last night, the real game has little to do with them. The new congressional leadership, the chairmen of the important committees and the Congressional officers who will run the party are old line `progressives' with long experience in government and full knowledge of how to use parliamentary procedure - the rules of Congress - to push their agenda. In a sense, it's the Bolshevik Revolution redux, where people who think they voted for a certain kind of change end up getting something very different. The likes of Nancy Pelosi, Charlie Rangel, John Dingall, Harry Reid and John Conyers have never revealed any real policies except those of opposition and obstruction. Is it any great stretch to forsee that they will continue to go with what they know? Or to expect an endless round of self-serving suppoenas,indictments, investigations, impeachment writs and witch hunts while our enemies use this time to get stronger and more powerful?
Almost every one of the new Democratic committee chairmen and House officers have a long history of anti-military and anti-defence votes, and of hamstringing our intelligence services at every turn. There's no doubt they will continue this policy, and that the leaks out of Congressional committees will become even more pronounced.
And, in spite of the more moderate stance of some of the freshman Democrats, some of the freshman congressmen will be the willing disciples and helpers of the New Order. For instance, one of the new Democratic Congressmen, Keith Ellison(d-MN) is an ex-member of the Nation of Islam and received major backing from CAIR..and of course, the DNC. Can you imagine a jihadi congressman on the House Intelligence Committee or any other committee with access to the inner workings of government?
With all Bush's faults, he at least was willing to fight half of a war.Even that half will become problematic now, and the President will probably simply run out the clock for the next two years. We have set up a scenario where even the things we did right in the War on Jihad will now be severely curtailed or eliminated. Expect the NSA surveillance program and the Patriot Act, for example, to either be terminated or so severely curtailed as to be useless.
You can be sure that both our enemies and our friends are aware of what this election truly signifies..a vacation from history for the luxury of chewing on ourselves for awhile like a mange eaten dog. Our enemies will use the time to their advantage, and our friends will hurry to try and make some kind of accomodation with them while they can...to our detriment. And some of those friends, like Israel, will likely experience increased pressure from the US to be the 21st century Munich.
Many of the votes for the Democrats tonight, I convinced, came out of ordinary people blind with frustration, angry at the President and desperate for change - any change. They wanted to send a message. And that, of course, includes many people who decided to sit out this election.
They have, but neither the message nor the recipiant is the one they intended.
For the most part, although there are some exceptions, they have no clue of the sort of inmates they have allowed to take over the asylum.
For these people, it will not take long before tonight's victory is redolent of the taste of ashes.
There are times when the curve of history and the choices involved can be seen so clearly that it is almost like watching a movie unfold, one you've seen before. This is one of those times. Events have a way of creeping up on people who take a vacation from history.
This is what we have in store for us, and we will pay dearly in blood for it later.
For those Americans who see this clearly, it will be a time in the wilderness, characterized by frustration. We are slightly ahead of the curve, but will have no choice but to wait for our fellow citizens to catch up. But it is also a time, regardless of what party we claim to espouse to consolidate, to build, return to first principles and to gird ourselves for the struggle and the hard choices ahead. And most importantly, to recognize and get behind the new leadership we will need to preserve our Republic.
In that sense, last night's election was a positive development.
We have a great deal of ground to make up, and much to do.