Wednesday, November 08, 2006

REFERENDUM DAY: THE MORNING AFTER

It's still too early for me to make much sense of what happened yesterday, and I'm sure I'll have more to say later on. But in the immediate aftermath, a few things are clear.

One, and most importantly, the Bush train is derailed. Nothing else matters nearly as much as this. For all the talk of specifics like Iraq, scandal, whatever, the true crime against our country was the unchecked expansion of executive power. Into the hands of a cadre of officials no better at finding the truth than finding WMDs, Hurricane relief supplies, or the text of the US Constitution. Unless the Dems, who have to feel somewhat emboldened, continue to do nothing in the face of Bush's demands and adventurism, the White House's momentum will slow, if not stop.

That's enough for me.

Beyond that, looking to specifics, I really can't say. In addition to the complete demolition of the House GOP, it looks pretty good for the Dems in the Senate. I was wrong with my early call for Talent last night (I'll chalk it up to the beer I was swigging!), and I'm glad for that. Assuming Webb & Tester hang on, not only will two of the most horrid people in the nation lose their undeserved positions of power, but the GOP will lose control of both houses. That's my perfect storm scenario: gridlock, gridlock, gridlock. And maybe a little more gridlock.

Congress decides to deliver some pork? Maybe Bush learns what a veto is, and uses it. Bush starts chattering about some overseas adventurism? Maybe the Democratic congress discovers those two things in its collective sack, and refuses to supply funding. In sum, gridlock = less spending, less meddling, less overbearing federal interference at home & abroad.

But again, to reitterate the great news, we removed Bush's fangs. Without a shot of novocaine. Toothless! As Yukon Cornelius said about the Abominable Snowman, He's nuthin' without his choppers! Lame Duck. What wonderful words.

In the abstract, yesterday reaffirmed my faith in our country more than anything has in a very, very long time. We may disagree on all sorts of specifics: Precise policy on Iraq; the economy; social issues like abortion, gay marriage, & religion; the role of the regulatory state, etc. But explicitly or not, we sent a strong message to the Hill, the White House, the World, and Ourselves, that the basic foundations of our system still work. We want them. Separation of Powers. Rule of Law. Some degree of honesty & accountability. A requisite amount of competence & planning.

And it looks like we got it. I've haven't been this proud as an American in years.

15 Comments:

Blogger Ed in Westchester said...

Mike, I know you are not happy with Joe L winning, but now is the time for Schumer and the others to strike. They need to reconcile with him and bring him into the fold officially. They cannot allow him to be turned to a Repub.
Look, I know the guy is blasted for the Iraq vote, but a lot of other Dems voted the same way. Losing him to the other side could hamper efforts going forward. And if the rumors from a few weeks back turn true (the he replaces Rummy), then the Ct. Gov puts a Repub in place.
Bring him back into the fold. The guy is politicalluy savvy enough to understand why they did what they did.

As for Hevesi, Spitzer needs to call him today, and tell him to resign. I don't care what the vote said, he is effectively neutered.

A good day, even if the Senate stays Repub.

9:30 AM  
Anonymous Mike said...

Lieberman in the Dem caucus is a done deal as far as I know. These are politicians. If they hold grudges they wait til the right time to make good.

9:39 AM  
Blogger DED said...

Smug, arrogant asshole Joe will make demands of the Dems, like a committee chair. He'll likely do the same to the Republicans. Maybe Joe will actually show up and cast some votes this term, instead of slacking off.

Joe's win is like someone dropping rock salt into what would be a decidedly tasty pint of beer. I really can't enjoy it now.

Ed: Are you sure about those rules of succession? My gut says you're right but my heart's hoping you're wrong and my brain can't remember.

10:34 AM  
Anonymous John Royal said...

I've got to go with Mike re scumbag Joe. My fear is that the GOPers concede MT and VA giving the Dems a 51-49 lead. Then Dubya finally accepts Rummy's resignation, and Dubya, in a spirit of bipartisanship, makes Joe L. his Sec. of Def, then the GOPer Connecticut gov appoints a GOPer to take the Senate seat to make it 50-50, then Shotgun Dick becomes the ultimate decider.

11:31 AM  
Blogger sheadenizen said...

Looking forward to the press conference today to see how "the ventriloquist," Karl Rove spins this election. While Bush's mouth moves, we will hear the king of sleaze's words. I can't even begin to imagine what will be said.

11:31 AM  
Anonymous Mike said...

Shea-

I was hoping to see a somewhat chastened Decider today, but maybe I'm wrong. Who knows? I'm assuming a little less of the attack dog snarl, but nothing suprises me from that guy.

John-

First off, let's get our epithets straight, shall we? George Allen is the "Scumbag." Joe is:

(a) The Scoundrel;
(b) That Motherfucker;
(c) Sleazy Joe;
(d) The Backstabbing Punk;
(e) All of the above, which creates "That Backstabbing Punk, Sleazy Joe Lieberman, the Motherfucking Scoundrel"

It may surprise you, but I'm going with (e).

Now, as to your horrific scenario, it sounds so likely I can't imagine it not happening. But it won't be the end of the world. Bush'll still be relatively toothless. Remember Yukon Cornelius' words.

And I'm not talking about "silver & gold."

11:44 AM  
Blogger Ed in Westchester said...

ded - I recall reading that at one point the CT Gov appoints the replacement for a Sen. who leaves office mid term.

I really hope Joe does not resign. It would really fuck things up.

11:53 AM  
Blogger Ed in Westchester said...

As for Bush, I had to laugh last night as I am watching the Rep COmm. Chairman. He was calling Joe a "Victory Democrat". Then, when Chris Matthews asked him about Bush compromising, he basically said the Dems would have to kowtow to Bush. Matthews called him on it saying, they run the House, and possibly the Seante, the people have spoken, why would Bush not compromise. Mehlman said "Well, I'm just the committe chair, I don't speak for the President." What a bunch of bullshit. Talk about flip-flopping.

11:57 AM  
Anonymous Mike said...

I think Mehleman's job requires even more out-and-out lying than Snow's.

I was almost cringing watxching him last night; it's hard to watch any human contort himself that much to twist the truth.

12:11 PM  
Blogger Mr Furious said...

And it looks like we got it. I've haven't been this proud as an American in years.

Amen.

12:13 PM  
Blogger sheadenizen said...

Ed....you're absolutely right about the governor naming a replacement. Corzine appointed Menendez to fill his senate seat when he became governor.
Chris Matthews was great last night. He stuck it to everyone! He took no prisoners!

12:34 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

Chris Matthews was great last night. He stuck it to everyone! He took no prisoners!

You think so? I thought he was a bit drippy. Also seeming to go out of his way not to alienate Repubs watching. He didn't piss me off or anything, but I thought he was trying hard to seem neutral.

Maybe I missed something; I was reallly channel surfing between CNN, MSNBC & FOX (which is where the REAL fun was!)

12:41 PM  
Anonymous waitingforthealiens said...

Friends,
This is sweet. Perhaps only modestly so since the real criminals (Bush, Cheney and those who own and manage them) have not been shown the door this morning, but it is sweet.

I would not worry about Lieberman handing the senate back (if Tester and Webb manage to win.) Getting our ass out of Iraq is not going to look heroic no matter who is Secretary of Defense; certainly not heroic enough to make Joe L. a viable presidential candidate in ’08. Being a much fawned over independent senator will be far more pleasant.

My fervent wish is that Ms. Pelosi’s testosterone level will not become too pronounced. (My first thought when the Floyd Landis story broke was that in my experience it is not performance enhancing—it just makes you stupid.) The Democratic Party has been given a gift—purchased with the deaths and injuries of thousands of brave American service people. They have a chance to recover relevance and get in a few licks for progressive policy. I think the baseball parlance is “small ball.”

Hope that doesn’t make me too much of a throwback, because I too feel better about being an American today. We have met the solution and it is us.

12:58 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

Nicely-put, man. The small-ball analogy's a good one.

1:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, Mike, I'll make you an offer: would you trade in this Republican defeat for a Mets' win over the Cardinals?

Do I have to throw in a guaranteed win over the Tigers?

Applesaucer

1:36 PM  

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