The election is over. The call, by some Democrat leaders, to get out of Iraq within a few months has already begun. The political jockeying for advantage in the next election is underway. The effort to corner President Bush was hinted at within days after the election results were in. Nancy Pelosi reminded us - “He's the President of the United States. I respect the office. It's his call. " She, of course, was talking about Iraq. In other words, Bush, and Republicans, will be set up to take the blame if we are not out of Iraq soon.
Here is how this will play out and why we, as voters, need to make every politician accountable in 2008.
The Democrats will propose a plan to get out of Iraq that President Bush will not accept. It will be based upon recommendations from the Independent Study Commission, a commission endorsed by President Bush. Democrats will try to force the President into a veto, a veto that Democrats do not have enough votes to over-ride. Thus, the President and the GOP will be to blame going into 2008 elections.
Democrats will continue to vote in favor of funds to continue the war in Iraq because they “support the troops but not the war". Many Republicans will vote with them based on that mantra.
Democrats will propose a national hike in the minimum wage, taking away State's Rights, trying to force another veto by the President.
Democrats will propose a change in tax law, punishing the so-called “rich" in favor of the so-called “middle class" in spite of the fact that the richest people pay 85% of the Federal Income Tax income that goes into the Federal Budget. “Take from the rich and give to the middle class" will be the Democrat mantra. This likely will be vetoed by the President as well. This is a twist on the John Edwards mantra.
Democrats will propose to strip big oil of federal tax breaks. This could pass and could be the one veto that is overridden because most Americans believe we are being gouged at the gas pumps. Of course, this ignores the need for big oil to invest in finding new sources of oil and building greater refinery capacity. One needs to be a CPA to figure this one out so Democrats will simply play to the emotional triggers in each of us.
Democrats will propose a rewrite of the Prescription Drug legislation that brought much cheaper drugs to Seniors. They will attempt to impose a “negotiation clause", that is, negotiate with the Pharms over the cost of drugs. Sounds good. Plays to our emotions and personal budgets. Fact is, short of price controls, which never work (remember Nixon?), the Pharms are giving the current discounts voluntarily.
My list is getting too long, isn't it? You already have figured out much of this, haven't you? Am I a Republican? Democrat? Independent? My answer is - I am a voter. I vote on a candidate-by-candidate basis, regardless of party affiliation.
Election 2006 was about voter disenchantment with Congress. For me, and a huge majority of Americans, Election 2006 was not just about Iraq or Immigration or Energy, etc. Pollsters, across the board, in every poll, found that Congress had a less-than-30% approval rating. This is 10-to-15 points below the President's rating.
Where did this leave us? As pointed out in my previous post on my blog, we had to choose between the “Lesser of Two Evils". It's unfortunate that the political process is rigged to favor two political parties.
We need an Independent Party of equal power in both Primary and General Elections. Perhaps, as Joe Lieberman proved, a person with a true desire to be a “public servant" can be elected as an Independent candidate.
I am hopeful that young voters reading this will be energized into action and help form a true Independent Party. That they will bring about a change in our antiquated political process. That they will weed out the “politicians" and elect “public servants" in the future. That some of them will pursue a career in government or politics to create a government that is truly - “by the people and for the people" as our Constitution promises.
Jim DeSantis is a journalist with 15 years in investigative reporting and writing. For writing tips see “Self Help Resources" at Jim's blog at OnLine Tribune Front Page .