Nov 8, 2006

But Did George W. Get the Message?

The Democratic Party rode what television pundits are calling a "tsunami" of voter discontent with the war in Iraq and political corruption to take control of the US House and - possibly - the US Senate (at this writing Democrats in the Senate races in Virginia and Montana hold leads, but some precincts remain to be counted).

President Bush is expected to hold a news conference at 1:00 pm today to discuss the election and what it means to his administration. I expect that he will say the expected: congratulations to the victors, and a call for bipartisanship. He has already called presumptive new House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to offer congratulations.

The real question, however, is whether the President really understands why voters turned out the GOP.

I watched former GOP Speaker Tom DeLay on television this morning, and he clearly is in denial about the reasons why his party lost. DeLay believes that Republican fiscal irresponsibility and - get this - a Republican failure to rein in "judicial activism" were the chief factors that led the Democrats to feast last night.

Mr. President: Americans sent you a loud and clear message about Iraq and corruption. Listening to the siren song of partisan voices such as Tom DeLay is not a smart political move, and you do so at the peril of your party and your legacy.


-Sepp said...

Delay must be locked in a closet high on crack if he thinks voters booted the GOP because they failed to reign in judicial activism. Yeah Tom, light up another $5 piece and keep dreaming that screwing up the war in Iraq, corruption and, the preaching about family values while cheating on your wives had nothing to do with the house cleaning that went on. Yesssirreee, it was all about the judicial activism!

wjohnson said...

I think it is still going to be an up hill battle. "Big Dick" has already said that he will ignore any investigation requests that come from the results of the elections. The Oil Cartel in the White House is going to push and fight against the voter’s mandate of last night. They still have the Patriot Act to use against the people as they see fit.

Calico Jack said...

I looked up ‘judicial activism’, and while I understand how it applies to our current situation in the US, I don’t think that failure to stop the abuse of our constitutional rights plays a significant role in the recent elections. I don’t believe that President Bush’s handlers think so either.

I spent some time studying the situation in the Middle East, and I don’t understand it. Parts of the situation are fairly clear, but certainly not all. Given several years of concentrated study, I’m certain I’d be better versed than I am now, but I’m equally certain that I’d still be in the dark on many aspects. Given that I’m of average intelligence and education, and that our President and I share that characteristic, I don’t believe that President Bush understands the Middle East either; nor does Vice President Richard Cheney, nor the rest of the President’s cabinet. What’s worse is that I believe that these national leaders are unaware of their own ignorance. This is the state they were in when the US invaded Iraq, and the state hasn’t changed.

Other factors such as abuse of power by the President and Vice President, immoral behavior in the US Congress and Senate and blatant fiscal corruption (politically correct term for stealing the fillings out of our teeth while we were awake) certainly influenced the outcome of the recent election. Ohio has its share of this behavior, and the hope is that with new officials the undesireable behavior will cease.

Here is my question: Do the newly elected Democrats know this?

historymike said...

I just heard Glenn Beck make some of the same sorts of arguments about the judiciary as DeLay did - using the examples of eminent domain and abortion - and the mantra from the far right seems to be that the Republicans "abandoned their base."

Hmmmm...let's see - the "abandoned base" jumped ship for the Democrats?

Tough sell, that one. At least more centrist GOP types like Ken Mehlman acknowledge the impact of the war and Republican scandals.

As for the Dems - I think they get it, based upon their initial conciliatory comments, but we'll see if the centrist and liberal wings can continue to coexist in a party whose only core value seems to be: "We're not the GOP."

The Screaming Nutcase said...

Ahh, a return to divided government, my favorite. Remember how good the Clinton years were to us, when we had a GOP Congress and a Democratic President they hated?

Newsguy said...

We are in for a very interesting two years. If the Republicans don't get it, maybe it will energize the Democratic politicians in Washington to finally show some spine and stand up to these monarchist idiots. The Dems have already been given a healthy vote of confidence by the electorate. Now is their chance to show they can produce some results in the face of adversity.

Stephanie said...

I hardly see the Dems who got the lesser of two evils vote getting a healthy vote of confidence, considering the Dems have had their own scandals and corruption to deal with.

Personally, I suspect this was more anti-incumbent than merely anti-Republican, but only time will tell. When the Dems start playing their own tricks, will America take it?

liberal_dem said...

The short answer to your question, Mike is, no.

microdot said...

I watched the pres on CNN this evening...pretty strange performance, the first half channeling Nancy Pelosi's talking points in a tone I've never heard from him before (like a snotty child telling us that "Now, I'll be good) Then gradually growing more like his old self and his droning drivel.
It's always a treat to see him answer questions with ouut a script and flop about verbally and mentally like a carp out of water. He threw us Rumsfeld to change the subject...he had to do it, but to do it at as his first official acty after the debacle...well, it diiffused the more difficult questions that the crowd could have asked him.
I agree with wjohnson that this is just the beginning of a battle that is going to take real backbone to win. This government has to be reconquered in the courts. The extraordinalry superpowers that the executive branch has taken on itself have to be stripped away.
I don't believe for a minute that George is going to go placidly into the wings. You saw the first act tonight, a little comedy routine without a punch line...I want to see Cheney when he gets back on the scene, boy he has some explaining to do after raising $400,000,000 bucks in all th fund raising dinners he's been eating around the country.
Sorry if I am going on, but I did have a few glasses of champagne with our Dutch neighbors this evening! Everybody is celebrating!

Mark said...

Nothing puts a smile on my face more than seeing the rest of the world celebrate the shifting of legislative power. It's a time to celebrate for all.

In any case, DeLay's response does not surprise me. He said what a good little party shill should say, "It's not that we're wrong, just that everybody else is."

That said, as I stated on my own blog, liberal_dem is absolutely right. "NO," Bush will not get the message. But keep in mind that the real message to send to Bush is, "YOU NEED TO CHANGE." Making Rumsfeld step down is a start, but that's still George shirking responsibility by saying, "It's someone else's fault." Rumsfeld didn't get out of the way when he should have though, and that's his own fault.

Well, the last time there was split Exec/Leg. power in this country, the nation saw an economic boom. Let's hope it happens again.

And no matter what anyone says, I will tell you point blank that "judicial activism," as Republicans use and understand that term, has a minimal effect on everyday political life anyway. Being that many people don't understand what judges say in their opinions, to say that it means all in politics is a joke.

Calico Jack said...

But keep in mind that the real message to send to Bush is, "YOU NEED TO CHANGE."

Which is right where the general public goes wrong. The Prez is short timing it. There is no real reason for him to feel the need to change anything, except maybe a writer or two. If things continue the way they are right now, President Bush will experience no ill effects of any kind. He can survive being barbequed by MSM, daming speeches by various Senators and Congressmen don't hurt him, and the silver bullets have been locked up. How is anyone going to make Bush feel the need to change?

What might happen is that the Congress critters who are still in office may realize that the wind has shifted a little, and it's time to hitch their float to a different parade.

While it's certainly true that many people don't understand judicial decisions, fewer still read the decision. What people really do have a firm grasp of is the ramifications of those decisions, and that includes the citizens for whom the word "ramifications" does not appear in their vocabulary. Case in point, when some fat Bubba holds up an SKS with a folding stock and a 30 round magazine and sez "Kin Ah keep this?" or when an elderly couple asks, "Does mean that we lose our home?" it really tends to simplify things.

Mark said...

Calico Jack, let me give you an example as to what people think of the ramifications of judicial decisions.

Let's back up a few months to when Anna Nicole Smith's dispute with the family of her late husband was before the U.S. Supreme Court. An important decision about what claims may be joined in Bankruptcy Court proceedings was announced in an opinion by Justice Ginsburg. In a nutshell, the Court expanded the type and amount of claims that could be joined in a bankruptcy proceeding.

A letter seen the following weekend in USA Today Magazine:
"I heard that Anna Nicole Smith had a case heard before the U.S. Supreme Court. Why would the U.S. Supreme Court want to hear anything that bimbo has to say?"

Maybe the wording isn't exactly right, but I can't make this stuff up. This particular individual who wrote in believes the ramifications of that case is, "The Supreme Court of the United States will now hear bimbos."


The "ramifications" of cases that people hear are mostly fed to them by the media, the Anna Nicole Smith verdict case-in-point. You give the general public too much credit.

Hooda Thunkit said...

"But Did George W. Get the Message?"

Probably, but it won't make a bit of difference.

American politics is still broken and this did nothing to fix it.


Well, if you listened or watched any of the political shows today (Sunday), you already have your proof...