Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the President to explain to us what the exit strategy is.    The Honorable Governor of Texas, George W. Bush

I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.    Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Mandate Ends With a Kiss

It's The Morning After, The Aftermath, what have you, of Decision 2006, and it's potentially better than I had imagined. The Democrats have won a large majority in the House, with many long time Repugs out on their ears for lock stepping with the neo con world domination shtick. The Senate hangs by the slimmest of threads, tied 49/49 with Dems leading in Virginia by 6,000 votes and in Montana by 2,000 votes. Recounts are likely, the irony being that the Republicans are going to have to ask for them, contrary to their howling in 2000 about such recourse.

There is a glitch in this. The true Democratic count is 47, plus two independents. One independent is Bernie Sanders, of Vermont. He is actually a Democrat in practice, but for reasons I guess you'd have to live in the woods to understand, refuses to be identified as one. He will caucus with the Dems, and that's how all the critically important committee seats are decided. With the 47, plus the two in contention, plus ol' Green Mountain Boy, that's 50. Need one more.

That would be Joe Freaking Lieberman, from Connecticut. Joe lost his primary, possibly quite literally from too much kissing up to the President. Joe is very much in favor of Americas adventurism in the Middle East. As a very visible supporter of Israel, he's a natural ally of the neo con agenda. When Joe lost the primary, he ran as an Independent. The Republicans, preferring an ally on the war issue to the prospect of a liberal Dem, yanked all their support from the already piss-poor candidate they had intended to sacrifice to the expected Lieberman landslide. And voted in Gore's running mate, in the strange bedfellows segment of the day.

Lucky man, this Lieberman. Had Harold Ford won in Tennessee (against one of the most vile campaigns of the season), the Dems would be over the top, and might very well have backed off of their quiet assurances to Lieberman that they would maintain his valued seniority. "Go play with the minority Republicans, Judas, and see how that flies with Connecticut voters in 2012!" If the Dems fall short, even with him, he becomes a hanger on, and in opposition of the foreign policy directives and investigatory procedures that are sure to come.

But the best scenario now for Dems must sadly empower this dufus, quite possibly to superstar status as "The Negotiator" in breathlessly heroic accounts of bipartisan nonsense.

You might note just a pinch of sarcasm in my voice, and that has to do with the meme of the day, centrism. This is all supposed to be a lurch back to the center, the pundits say. Conservatives couldn't be more proud to bleat that the new Dems are a center to conservative lot. Bill Bennett puffs his mighty gut up into his chest and smiles 'cause he knows the agenda remains conservative, only now he gets to make a killing going after the ins.

But out there beyond the pundits there are some very unhappy conservatives, and more unhappy corporate interests that are going to find themselves with a lot of explaining to do.

I'll talk a lot about the specter of more Clintonian centrism, to be sure. For now, however, I'll be content with the House, be thrilled with the Senate possibility, and worry about Joe. (maybe it's something in those reservoirs they drink out of in New England) For now my mode will be as obstructionist to the evil cabal in the White House and, in the run up to 2008, we will see if any of this carries a scent of progress.


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