Thursday, November 09, 2006

Victory is Only a Beginning

Karl Rove has been slapped down. Tom DeLay is replaced by a democrat. Rumsfeld is walking the perp walk to oblivion. Bush has been reduced to lunching with the devil incarnate - Nancy Pelosi, that is. Christmas in November! The American people have once again proved they cannot be fooled forever. My faith was not in vain.

Now it's time for the democrats to prove they can govern, not simply snipe. Pelosi sounds like she's ready to go. Murtha sounds like a sour old man out for vengeance. Now is not the time for looking back. The American people know all about the darkness of the past six years, and they don't want to spend the next year rehashing that grim time. Hearings won't change the minds of the republican faithful, nor will they give the critics any true satisfaction. Now is the time to move on, for the democrats to introduce and pass the legislation needed to get this country's problems solved.

The problem is that introducing and passing this legislation is not going to be painless. Every change creates winners and losers. Fixing Social Security is going to require more taxes and less payouts just to keep the program afloat, assuming the democrats don't flip over and embrace the myth of job growth somehow generating the required tax revenue. Medicare reform will require higher taxes, curbs on procedures available to the very old or very sick, and some serious negotiation with the drug companies. Dealing with the trade imbalance will generate higher prices at Wal-Mart. Energy independence will require some democrats to bend over for nuclear energy and new refineries, and some consumers will have to accept less go-power when they push on the gas pedal. Going forward on stem cell research will alienate some who voted for the overthrow of Bush Jr. All of these issues are touchy. In fact, the only no-brainer is voting to increase the minimum wage to a higher amount that is still under the poverty line.

Will the democrats have the guts to follow through and deal with the big issues, or will they succumb to the pressures of running again in 2008? Right now I give them the benefit of the doubt, and a few suggestions: operate in the open, let all interested parties have their say in public, and make choices based on clear criteria that the 2008 voters can understand. That's democracy. Can the democrats practice it?


Thomas LB said...

Thanks for dropping by my blog.

I realize the post you responded to was a little on the angry and bitter side. The glorification of soldiers is one of those hot-button topics for me, and sometimes I rant a little. Today's edition was one of those "blowing off steam" posts.

Normally, I'm much more even tempered and easier to get along with. Reading over your blog, I think we agree on more than we disagree. I hope you'll drop by again on one of my calmer days (which is most of them).

1138 said...

"Fixing Social Security is going to require more taxes and less payouts just to keep the program afloat"

I''m not so sure about that, there are other means but health industry costs must be brought under control.
Supplying a profit is fine, but making a literal killing is what is going to kill the system.

Then there's a certain group that kind of have some extra cash from the tax breaks available for tapping.
Oh and you know what if other countries are going to ship stuff here without providing the same levels of compensation to their works that we demand here for ours - then we need to tariff the crap out of it and put that into Social Security and Medicare.
Free trade doesn't mean no cost.