Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Vote Democratic

Paul Krugman had it right in his NY Times column yesterday, Bush. It's a one-letter election. "D" or "R". All that hogwash about "voting for the man (or woman) not the party" no longer applies. As Krugman writes, "It’s hard to think of an election in which the personal qualities of the people running in a given district or state have mattered less." If we could rely on politicians to be honest, to be open for real discussion of the issues, and to vote their conscience, it might be different. It's not that way any more. It's all about party. Look at the much-admired Senator John McCain, who seemed, for a moment, a couple of weeks ago, to be standing on principle for our constitution and for our humanity as a country; but who capitulated disgracefully days later to your pursuit of limitless executive power.

It's all about party politics and you, Bush, and your Republicans have made it so. There's only one response to the knee-jerk party loyalty you have demanded, and that's knee-jerk party loyalty on the other side.

And Krugman's not the only one to be speaking this truth. Check out, for example, this rant on Daily Kos. The message is simple. It's time for Democrats to stop squabbling amongst themselves about pet issues, and to refuse to support a fellow Democrat because he or she happens to disagree with ME on some opinion I happen to hold dear. What matters now is to elect people who, together, can change the course of this country and restore it to its rightful place of respected leadership (and, when necessary, followership) in the world.

True, with possibly only a small majority in either house, the Democrats will find it hard to enact any radically new agenda--the kind of agenda, Bush, that I myself would like to see enacted: the kind of agenda where government restores its contract with the poor and the underprivileged, and accepts real responsibility for direly negelected issues like health care, social services, education, retirement... not to mention the decaying infrastructure of schools and hospitals, power grids and highways. There's no end of work to be done, and I don't expect the Democrats, if elected to a majority in either, or even both houses, to be able to address the bulk of it while you're sitting there in the White House.

But--again as Krugman points out, correctly in my view--"the really important reason may be summed up in two words: subpoena power. The current Congress," he writes

has shown no inclination to investigate the Bush administration. Last year The Boston Globe offered an illuminating comparison: when Bill Clinton was president, the House took 140 hours of sworn testimony into whether Mr. Clinton had used the White House Christmas list to identify possible Democratic donors. But in 2004 and 2005, a House committee took only 12 hours of testimony on the abuses at Abu Ghraib.

If the Democrats take control, that will change — and voters should think very hard about whether they want that change. Those who think it’s a good idea to investigate, say, allegations of cronyism and corruption in Iraq contracting should be aware that any vote cast for a Republican makes Congressional investigations less likely. Those who believe that the administration should be left alone to do its job should be aware that any vote for a Democrat makes investigations more likely.

I happen to be among those who believe that you should not be left alone, Bush. The American people need to be made aware, if they are not already, of the extent to which you and your people have misled and deceived, screwed up the nation's response to the attacks on 9/11 and alienated a once sympathetic world, enriched the wealthy and cheated the poor, and made of our political system a cycnical partisan sport. The answer, as a growing chorus of voices now suggests, is partisan politics. As I tell everyone who'll listen to me: vote. And vote Democtratic.


Anonymous said...

That's ok... I'll stick with the party who is strong on defense, not pandering to NAMBLA and who, if far from perfect, is far from scary... but I wish you and your party luck... especially if you win...

PK said...

Excellent post Peter!!!

denn said...

P: We're back from Eastern Europe. Saw a lot. Learned a lot.

Overwhwelming opinion there is how much of what our guy is doing is like what happened there. One man told me, the very SAME phrase was used by the parties for communist takeover, " If your not with us, you're against us". They can't get over how all rise when Dubya enters the room. He looks like a dictator to them.

The military lovers don't even see it.

Do the Dems have anybody but Hilary?

Robb Ury said...

Dear fistandantalus,

Judging by the misinformation in your post, you'd be no doubt shocked at what the Pelosi/Dem platform is all about: enacting the 9/11 Commission's recommendations in the 1st 100 days, stopping lobbyist and corporate payments to Congressional members. I've never heard ANYONE in either party support NAMBLA. What horsesh!t! It's a sad state of our nation that the "Right: is SO afraid of the bogeyman "Left" that they can't see the facsists creeping up behind them. Whether you like it or not, we're on the same team now. That is, unless you're into Fascism, in which case, I'll see you in Hell.

Come armed.