Monday, January 08, 2007

Regarding nature of the Democrats mandate

Digby has a good post on this bizarre notion that pundits are trotting out that the Democrats mandate is one for healing and bipartisanship.
Evidently, the brainless punditocrisy does now believe that people voted for the Democrats last November because they were yearning for 1974 and wanted the Democrats to act like Jerry Ford. These people have decided that the Democrats are supposed to "pardon" President Bush in order to heal the nation.

I don't think so.


As regular readers know, I've been pondering this infuriating fixation on bipartisanship and moderation for the last couple of weeks and watching aghast as the press does the wingnuts' bidding, setting up the Dems as failing to fulfill their promise to the American people that they would be moderate and bipartisan if they won the election. This was simply not on the agenda during the election, other than that the House Democrats would restore some sort of fairness to the rules and pass anti-corruption legislation. In fact, the entire election was about the Democrats taking power to provide some needed checks and balance on the Republicans.

Oddly, however, in the last couple of weeks, the media has been obsessing that the election reflected a desire among the American people for the congress to stop fighting and work together, which makes no sense. The Republican congress didn't fight --- the Democrats just caterwauled ineffectually from the sidelines, while the Republicans did what they wanted. There was no gridlock, they passed virtually every piece of legislation they wanted and the congress was perfectly in sync with the president. If comity was what people were concerned about they obviously would have kept undivided government. [empasis is mine --bill]

The American people voted for the Democrats because they wanted them to stop the Republican juggernaut. Look at the poll numbers. Look at the election results.

So, where is this coming from? First, it's obviously coming from the Republicans who have much to gain by whining incessantly about being trod upon by the horrible Democrats who are betraying the citizens who voted for them by being big old meanies. No surprise there. They make their money and derive their power among their mouthbreathing base by portraying themselves as being victimized --- whether in power or out, the liberals are always keeping them down.

It's also long been obvious that the political and media establishment are perfectly comfortable with noxious rightwing nutballs like Tom Delay running things, but panic at the idea of a Democrat with a pulse.


The election, after all, was a referendum on a party that had had six years of total power and who's approval ratings were hovering in the low teens. The press had had to extract assurances that the Democrats wouldn't impeach the president, for crying out loud. Bipartisan kumbaaya was clearly not on the agenda.
Digby then closes with this bit (which I quite liked) about the (in)famous candor of Betty Ford who was featured on 60 Minutes yesterday:
But other people were outraged. "There were people who actually demonstrated in front of the White House and said I was a embarrassment as a first lady," she remembered.
She went on to become extremely popular because, shocking as it was, she was actually like the vast majority of the country. Her views were not out of the mainstream --- she was just one of the few people in public life who had the courage to not be a hypocrite.

If everyone wants the Democrats to emulate the Ford era, being independent, outspoken and broadminded like Betty would be the right way to go about it. People were sick and tired of mushmouthed platitudes and insulting deception after all the years of lies. After Bush, I have a feeling people might just be looking for a little of that same Betty Ford straightforward honesty and clarity.
BTW, I've messed with the order of some of these excerpts.


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