Wednesday, November 08, 2006
On a new hope
Help me, House Speaker Pelosi, you're my only hope.
Okay, so tonight, the Democrats took the House, surprising no one but Ken Mehlman (suck it, Ken!). More surprising is the cliffhanger in the Senate, which could go either way pending recounts for too-close-to-call races in Virginia and Montana (advantage Democrats, w00t). Obviously, I think the new House leadership is a good thing, and not just in a "change for change's sake" way. I have actual hopes and even expectations for our newly Democratic Congress. Since the beginning of October, Nancy Pelosi has been not for her first 100 days as Speaker of the House, but her first 100 hours, looking to address the deficit, enact the recommendations of the 9/11 commission, raise the minimum wage, cut the interest rate on student loans, lower drug prices for Medicare patients, and roll back Bush's tax cuts for the rich as soon as the new Democratic majority takes its place.
And that's what's exciting to me - that there are plans for the future. That this isn't just gettin' rid of the Republicans 'cause they suck; it's a matter of replacing a do-nothing, rubber-stamp Congress with one that actually sets realistic goals, acts independently, and takes seriously the responsibility of representing the American people. That's exciting. And if Cthulhu is truly smiling upon us, we'll have an actual bipartisan effort to get those goals accomplished, and we'll have a cooperative president who realizes that, divisive campaign speeches notwithstanding, he must now play nice with the majority party to get things accomplished.
I know there are things I'm forgetting to say, but I'm just in a really great place now. I'm relieved. I'm excited. I'm hopeful. I'm energized for the next few years. I'm realistic about what can/will/should be accomplished, certainly, but it's a hopeful realism. It's new. It feels good.
And so, in the interest of bipartisan cooperation, I have a few personal notes for our newly empowered senators and our new Republican partners.
(The following personal notes are rated M for language and mature subject matter.)
Dear President George W. Bush,
I realize that you had your heart set on a continued Republican majority; you probably wouldn't have spent the entire campaign season slagging off the Democrats if you'd thought for a second you'd have to be working with them for the next two years. That staggering lack of foresight aside, it's time to sack. The hell. Up. Good Lord - you're so intent on pouting a-'cause you didn't get your way that you can't even bother to call the new Speaker Elect and say, "Hey, congrats on the election, I hope we can work together in the best interest of the American people." I don't care how hurt your fee-fees are that voters have roundly rejected your sockpuppet Congress; you're the president of the damn United States, and it's time to put on your big boy pants and start acting presidential. Don't look more like a joke than you have to.
Dear Ken Mehlman,
Here's a bit of advice for starting fresh with the new Congress: try not lying. As a matter of fact, that's pretty good advice for all GOP leadership and administration officials: Try not fucking lying. Try telling the truth. Not sure what that is? I'll give you a hint: Whatever you're tempted to say to national news media, the truth is the opposite of that. Good Lord. In honor of this fresh majority and this new opportunity, let's get into a new habit and try telling the truth.
Dear news media, Evil Liberal and otherwise,
That goes for y'all, too. Tell the truth, and moreover, call folks on it when they aren't telling the truth. Y'all are the fourth fucking estate; you're supposed to be holding the government accountable for whatever they try to pull. Instead, you just, for some reason, assume that no politician would ever try to use your medium as a sounding board for their own propaganda and that they'd never say something on your show if it wasn't the truth. Huh?! When the hardest-hitting, most insightful half-hour of evening news is the fucking Daily Show, you aren't doing your job. Stop being such a bunch of pussies, stop worrying about losing access, and start worrying about being complicit in the royal fucking over of an entire country by the people who are sworn to protect it. Go ahead and ask the tough questions; President Bush has been told to be a big boy and answer like a grownup.
Dear House Speaker Elect Nancy Pelosi,
Do not let me down. Do not. Let. Me down. I'm watching you. The entire country is watching you, and, no pressure or anything, but if you fuck this up, the Democrats will have lost all credibility for decades to come. And, as the first woman ever to be third in line for the presidency, you've now got every feminist and anti-feminist watching your every move, secretly praying that you'll either a) bring new life, liveliness, and accountability to the role of Speaker of the House, or b) screw it up and prove that women are icky. You've got the entire Democratic party, the entire female gender, and, hell, the nation as a whole riding on your smartly-suited shoulders, so do not let us down. But have fun with it. Best of luck! Love the scarf.
Dear Vice President Dick Cheney,
Just - just try to smile more.
Bleh. Don't smile.
These midterms have been tougher than some presidential elections; there was an awful lot at stake. It's going to keep being tough, too, because we need big change, and big change doesn't happen overnight. We can see this new Congress as the great liberal threat that will weaken our morals and embolden the enemy, or we can see it an effective alternative to our current strategy of "keep doin' what you're doin', keep gettin' what you're gettin'." We can see it as a new set of eyes on an old set of problems, and a new opportunity to solve those problems using resources and initiatives we haven't had before. In other words: Step back, take a breath, and give it some time. We deserve to go into the next two years with the government we want, not the government we're forced to have.
Haha. Y'all thought you were going to get yelled at, didn't you.