Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Tilting at Left Leaning Windmills

Most of my left leaning friends are sighing BIG sighs of relief, post November 7th. I'm sure they feel that "taking back the Congress" takes "a big load off [their] shoulders," as one friend told me today -- with a big sigh of relief.

But is the load off? Wasn't this really just a thumpin' for Bush & Co, not a handcuffing? Wasn't it just dressing the windows of Washington with a wave of centrism for the holiday season?

For a week or so it seemed Bush was on the run, and his political capital is down, but he's a friggin' bulldog, and fight is what he knows. So maybe he's in check, for the month, maybe the season, maybe for good, but he's not in checkmate. Game takes a timeout, a huddle, a mix up at command. Then game returns. Game ON.

A precious few of my friends, like Sam, are even more left leaning, and their cynical natures take a decidedly more cautious stance (cautious is putting it MILDLY). Theirs is not 'wait and see' but rather 'wait and you'll see," same as it ever was, same as it ever was, and you may ask yourself, my god, what have we done?

Sam wrote that he might get genuinely hopeful "...when the patriot act is repealed, along with torture, the military commissions act, and warrantless wiretapping, and the DLC/Clinton cabal are merely interested spectators at Democratic conventions. Then there may appear a smile in the corner of my mouth."

Sam puts the fragile euphoria of some thin midterm victories in perspective. Those of us smiling a bit right now at some Senatorial upsets and ousters in the House may not be smiling for long. Still, at least for a few weeks, until Bush shows us once again (and he will) how stubborn and blindsided and intractable he is, many of us are not leaning quite bitterly against the dark towers these days. We're leaning into the light, what little we can get of it as it wanes into the autumnal and downright wintery holidays. Few of us can keep our skeptical guards going quite so well after seeing Bush flustered and flumoxed and, as he put it, getting a thumpin'. It's time to talk turkey, as in the bird and the feast of roast beast we're off to. Politics will come up, as always, at family gatherings, but I'll bet this year, in the wake of this midterm shakeup, most conversations with the relatives will center around more mundane matters, the old American standbys, food and football. Oh, and ok, maybe a little Foley on the side.

After this week of overstuffed turkeys, some pardoning of fowl and other fluff, it's back to wondering woefully what's going on in the darker corridors of the White House. Next week, it'll be back to the big game of Risk, game ON.


At 12/09/2006 9:17 AM, Anonymous Jackmeister said...

Much has been made of the Democrat's "thin" majority and how it will prevent them from accomplishing anything over the next two years, but there are many Republicans who are fed up with Shrub's incompetence who have just been going along with his crapola for the sake of party unity. The result of the November elections was the crack in the Republicans' poorly constructed edifice that will bring the walls down on top of them. Some of them are going to be like chain smokers who have finally kicked the habit and become anti-smoking zealots. The next two years are going to be very uncomfortable for the Creep from Crawford and some of his more recalcitrant supporters.

At 12/09/2006 9:06 PM, Anonymous Jerry said...

"Creep from Crawford", I love that! The walls will fall in the next two years. But which direction they fall is up for debate and speculation. The Democratic leadership cannot take a misstep. I think there is little or no margin for error. I read a NY Times story this morning on the budget just pass by the still Republican majority. They dumped all of the dirty work yet to be done on the next congress. Voters remember who was in power when things went bad, not who caused the trouble. I think it is fair to say that the voters in this last election didn't vote for the Democratic party, they voted against the "Creeps from Crawford Group" in Washington. In all fairness , I don't think it can be said that the vote was against the Republican Party.Many of the votes for change came from Republicans who felt betrayed. I don't think they were voting for Democrats. They were taking the only option available to them for a change. A fighter who throws a hay maker punch in a fight and connects will win the match but it will be what he does before the rematch that determines the future.


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