Will Dems leave Congress better than they found it?
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Although it may have come as some surprise to Karl Rove, President Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, and the Republican majority in Congress, last Tuesday's literal (or should I saw liberal?) tipping of the scales came as little shock to an American nation fed up with the direction of this country.
President Bush owes his first term in office to a judicial decision (against VP Al Gore in 2002) and his second term to a “hold-on-to-Ohio” race to the finish (against Democrat John Kerry). But he'll spend his last two years in office staring at a Congress that is decidedly more blue than red. Bush largely had a free pass his first six years, assured that the GOP-dominated House of Representatives and Senate could push through his agenda. Now, he'll have to flavor any bill with a bi-partisan attitude.
The Republicans won the House in 1994 because of its “Contract with America” and gained more seats in the Senate in 2004, viewing this - along with President Bush's re-election - as a clear mandate delivered by the American people.
Now the Party of Lincoln is on the outside looking in. And it's mainly because of their own arrogance.
Rolling Stone Magazine - granted, a more leftist magazine you could not find - offered its critique of the 109th Congress prior to the midterm elections. Of the Top 10 Worst Congressmen, no surprise, nine are Republicans. But what's interesting is the evidence provided by the magazine. For example Don Young (R-Alaska), chairman of the House Transportation Committee, earmarked $400 million in federal taxes to build a pair of
“bridges to nowhere.” One bridge served an island of 50 people; the other served a swamp.
Curt Weldon (R-Penn.) has indirectly benefited from over $1 million in lobbying deals.
Jerry Lewis (R-Calif.) and his years of swapping taxpayers' money for campaign donations are currently under investigation by the FBI.
Weldon was booted from Capitol Hill this November. But both Young and Lewis remain in office, proving that there is never too much a good thing.
According to Stone writer Matt Taibbi: “There is very little that sums up the record of the U.S. Congress in the Bush years better than a half-mad boy-addict put in charge of a federal commission on child exploitation. After all, if a hairy-necked, raincoat-clad freak like Rep. Mark Foley can get himself named co-chairman of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children, one can only wonder: What the hell else is going on in the corridors of Capitol Hill these days?”
In the south we tend to associate more with the conservative party (i.e. Republican) – the party of God, America and anti-abortion.
But change can be good as well. Especially when this congress has worked the least days in American history and should surpass the legendary “Do-Nothing-Congress” railed upon by Pres. Harry Truman in 1948.
Kevin Pearcey is Group Managing Editor of Greenville Newspapers, LLC. He can be reached by phone at 383-9302, ext. 136 or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.