my pissant two cents

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Suddenly, I feel much better.

Here are a couple of interesting facts:
Number of Democratic incumbents in the House who lost-- 0.
Number of Democratic incumbents in the Senate who lost-- 0.
And suddenly, all feels a little brighter in the America I remembered.
Those facts, my friends, constitute what they call an "ass-kicking." But despite all of the evidence to the contrary, the GOP yakkers are saying that it wasn't a referendum on the president or Iraq, and the corruption issue isn't relevant.
Bollocks. It's all of those things, and they got their asses handed to them. Which makes me happy deep inside, where I can still feel childlike joy.
A couple of issues of note. Virginia uses electronic voting, so any recount is going to make it very difficult for Allen to pick up 8,000 seats. But state law allows for a process lasting several weeks before the numbers are finalized. That leaves a lot of time for chicanery and shenanigans, and that gives me hives.
In the event that Webb wins, the Dems have a plurality of one, not an outright majority. That means they have to keep Lieberman on board. He could easily jump ship-- I have no faith in him, since he's proven himself so clearly a whore. The GOP could offer him a juicy committee chair, and he could quite easily say, "The Democrats rejected me and Republicans accepted me, so...." And then it's a 50-50 split, with Cheney casting the deciding vote. So what plum do the Dems have to offer Lieberman? Nothing too good, I hope.
On the Lieberman issue, I'm still pretty upset with MoveOn. Their push-poll months ago when they asked their donors' blessing to go after Lieberman was, I believe, the first step to this precarious situation. Not to say that I think ill of Ned Lamont or any of his many supporters. He ran a great race and made a huge impact. Unfortunately, its ultimate effect was to push Lieberman farther to the right. Now a Democrat-in-name-only is not even that. And that split allows the right to claim a victory over those shrill, angry bloggers on the left who tried to drag the noble Democrats into a politically-correct, Bush-hating, litmus-testing witch hunt.
As to Rumsfeld's resignation, I'm surprised, but not shocked. Bush told the American people last week that Rumsfeld was his guy and wasn't going anywhere. But today he said that he fudged that fact (read: lied) because he didn't want to influence the election. Same reason why the Baker report on Iraq policy is being held now, and why "Phase II" of the Senate Report on Pre-war Iraq Intelligence, which was to focus on the White House's misuse of the intelligence, was held until after the 2004 election (and we're still waiting on that one...).
It was a political move, like everything else in George Bush's world. First, it takes the huge Democratic ass-kicking off the front page. Second, it allows the lame-duck Senate to confirm Gates while they still have the majority, without too many pesky questions being asked. Third, it means that credit for any change in Iraq policy can be claimed by Bush/Gates, rather than attributed to new congressional leadership and oversight. And finally, Rumsfeld can easily dodge congressional hearings, because now it would look like Democrats picking on a frail, old retired man, rather than holding to account the defiant, belligerent jackass he heretofore has been.
I fear that the right-wing blowhards have done such an effective job of vilifying Nancy Pelosi as a frothing-at-the-mouth Red that she will do everything possible to prove them wrong, and thereby hamstring herself and the Democratic majority. Hardly any point in your opponent attacking you when you've already taken a dive.
I'm interested to see how the media spin comes out. I see Wolf Blitzer playing Bush apologist in an interview with Pelosi as I type this, falsely accusing her of calling Bush a "liar," and repeating Bush's mantra that "Stay the Course" is no longer his mantra. Earlier, CNN White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux called Pelosi "disrespectful" at Bush's press conference this morning. Several reporters have trotted out the impeachment scarecrow, despite the Democratic leadership's promise that they wouldn't go that route (a pledge I think is fantastically ill-advised). And why the hell would anybody care what indicted former GOP thug Tom DeLay has to say about anything at all?
What will Keith Olbermann say on tonight's broadcast, I wonder. Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert. Funny that these are the news sources I'm looking forward to hearing from tonight. I know what to expect from pretty much everyone else.