Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Democrats Win Big in 2006!

We won big yesterday and now we have enormous responsibilities to show that the Democratic Party IS the big tent party, capable of legislating for the middle ground that America truly lives in while keeping the more extreme elements happy with progress made on their behalf.

Could this be the end to extremism? It was perceived extremism that cost the Democrats their hold in the ‘80’s just as it was perceived extremism that finally cost the GOP theirs in 2006. I say “perceived” in both cases as, for the extremist, they are never extreme and it is the other side that sees them as extreme. From the ‘60’s through the ‘80’s the Democrats had, as much of America had, lost touch with much of moderate reality. The Moral Majority, followed by the minions of Newt Gingrich and then the Christian Right, energized their voters in retaliation to that perceived liberal swing of the nation. That strength of conservatism carried the GOP to euphoric highs where they started drinking their own bathwater, ignoring any sense of moderation, and the country was energized against them. The middle came out yesterday and made a difference.

Hooray for the middle! Our government is designed to be for all the people and the way to please all the people is to find the central ground that thinking people on both sides can agree to. This will upset the extremists on both sides, that is as it must be. The extremists have strong emotions about the issues they seek change on proclaiming them loudly whenever given a chance, they are the ones that in many cases lead change, but that change comes in smaller increments over longer times. To maintain control and truly to bring this country forward from the dark ages of political deception, the middle ground is that which must be trod.

These are the items from the Democratic Party agenda as stated on

Honest Government
National security
Energy Independence
Economic Prosperity
Health care reform
Retirement Protection
Protecting the Environment
Civil Rights
Election reform

Each of these items is of great importance but should not be considered as being in order of priority with the single exception of the #1, Honest Government. If the Democratic Party is to have a chance of turning 2008 into a referendum vote, we cannot suffer one single case of scandal in the coming two years. Not even the perception of a taken bribe, not even the thought of a sex scandal, not even a hint of dishonesty on any level. We must rise higher than the ground currently walked, we must build from the strength of openness, of honest compassion, and transparent governing that the public desires and deserves. Every elected official must do as they have promised – to serve their people in unselfish manner.

I have long said that the Democratic Party will be strong on national security and I believe it to be so. After 9/11 and the related bombings elsewhere in the world it is apparent that the world is being attacked by well organized, or at the least fanatically driven terrorists. They are in every nation and will continue their attacks. We cannot let up in our efforts to destroy them at every opportunity and we must seek those opportunities relentlessly.

Energy independence is key to many of the other issues. I was saddened by the loss of the oil extraction tax measure in California as it would not have increased the cost of gas here and it would have created the beginnings of the infrastructure needed to get us away from importing oil. Getting away from middle-eastern oil and into renewable, less polluting energy resources promises to improve our economy and the environment for ages to come. California could have lead the way, but people voted as only a $100 million campaign can lead them to – selfishly in the short term even if it wasn’t truly selfish, it was just stupid.

Economic prosperity will come in the form of the repealing of President Bush’s tax cuts to the rich and a spreading of those cuts to the lower and middle classes and in the form of an increase in the minimum wage, a reinstatement of funding for Pell Grants and a tax deduction for college tuition. A balanced budget will at some time be possible and that will truly be a day to celebrate.

Health care can be won for all. I go further than the Democratic platform in my desire for an all-covering national health care plan. Just as in Japan, Canada, and many other industrialized nations, we need a national plan that doesn’t just fill the gaps but covers every person. Will this require a special tax? Yes. Will that tax be more than offset by savings on that which we currently have ripped from our wallets for health insurance that works only for the highest paid anyway? Yes. I believe that a comprehensive health care plan is the difference between solvency for many of this countries largest employers. Health care reform ties to economic prosperity.

Retirement protection is a value that should not be lost on the GOP. My sense was that they wanted to walk away from Social Security primarily as a means of throwing a huge bone to the Wall Street investment firms. Social Security must be protected, retirement savings given greater incentive, and pension plans must be held accountable to the holders.

Without improvements to the environment nothing else matters. If we can’t breath the air and drink the water, if we can’t grow crops in a sustainable manner and maintain herds and fisheries to feed the population, we are lost.

Civil rights are the foundation of this country. No longer will one parties fundamentalist desires fuel lawmaking. Will civil union of gays become law? This is one that I lean to the extremist side on, even from my Christian perspective. I believe that if two people want to commit their lives to each other in a legal court, accepting all the responsibility that comes along with those rights, they should be given that opportunity. Are there other civil rights issues? Yes, and unfortunately now have a right leaning Supreme Court. That’s what we get for trying to grab so much of the left and losing. The middle ground is where progress can be made for all.

Election reform cannot be let up on simply because there weren’t any great problems in this election. A verifiable paper trail must be available for every vote.

I’ll add one more: campaign finance reform. I believe it to be the solution to the real problem politicians face – greed. Until we get the money out of politics the money will drive the politicians.

Finally – let’s not get complacent! We have two years to show America that this was a good decision on their part. Yes, the Democratic Party won large in 2006 but by thin margins in many cases. It won’t take much for those contests to fall to the other side in 2008. We must show that we have the firm resolve to accomplish our goals without the divisive nature the GOP has shown. We can move forward in the coming two years, but must using them to show what good and reasonable government can be will provide the Democratic Party with the best chance of gaining control of all three branches in 2008. To carry on from there, as good and reasonable government, will be the greatest test.

Congratulations, all. Carry your heads high, be humble and thankful, work hard for every person in the country, and know that your greatest tests are ahead.

May God bless America and the entire planet of people that needs Him.


Blogger Carl said...

I don’t think this election is a surprise or the “big referendum” the news pundits are making it out to be. Admittedly I am a Republican (and a Christian), but I do not count myself with the religious right. Both parties are full of hypocrisy, Nancy Pelosi being the biggest hypocrite of all with here millions of dollars and employment of un-documented workers for her wine vineyards. If Pelosi and her extremist followers had there way we regular folk (she and her pals would be exempt) would be driving around in horse and buggy and working by candle light so as to not harm the environment.
Another point that played into the election is that (unfortunately) many Americans saw the Republican answer (which could have been done better) to Michael J Fox’s commercial as an attack, when in reality Fox opened himself up for criticism, but the media would not allow a fair discussion here. The problem was that people in the media thought that Fox was above criticism because of his disease, but he was not. If someone with every bad thing that could happen to a person came out and backed Osama Bin Laden (or Adolph Hitler) as the greatest most moral man to walk the planet, they should be open to criticism (Quite honestly my life has sucked, but I am not above criticism).
This said, I think this will give Americans, especially God fearing Americans a chance to see what Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, Harry Reid et al are all about. This can turn out to be a good thing for 2008. Also, there have been mistakes made by the Republicans and Bush (basic arrogance is one). Let’s see how good the Democrats fare.

Carl Strohmeyer

11/08/2006 6:22 PM  
Blogger the internet is not a truck said...

not sure where to begin with this carl's comment...

but i think i'll just keep it to one point.

if you think what rush did is at all justifiable than you sir are not a christian. while fox's views may be open to criticism, his person isn't. he does not deserve to be ridiculed or taunted. unless of course you're mean-spirited and evil. for only an evil person would make fun of someone with a disease.

now that said, if you disagree with his stance on stem cell research, well then fire away at his opinions. but "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone"

11/09/2006 1:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, Dems!

Maybe we can get some ethics back in government. I'm feeling good about our future.

11/13/2006 12:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11/24/2006 6:47 PM  
Blogger TammyJo58 said...

There are people that will always excuse the Rush's in our society, because he spews the hatred that so many also feel but hold close to the vest, lest those around them see them for what they really are.

Growing up, my father taught my sister and I many lessons. I'll always remember that he told us to never make fun of people who were overweight, who wore glasses, who were deformed in any way, who were different, etc.. I guess Rush doesn't have a father like mine.
Of course, my heavenly Father expects even more.

12/08/2006 5:18 PM  
Blogger Christian Democrat said...

Rush Limbaugh has been on my mind a few times of late and I sure wish that wasn't the case. I have long considered him vile, but his latest actions caused me to consider another possibility - he can't really believe all that stuff he says, it is too completely asinine and so far over the top that any person of reason would reject it as the farce it is.

But no, Rush actually believe himself I think. And that is a very sad thought.

There remains the question - What does a guy need Viagra for when visiting a small Latin American country known for prostitution and leaving his wife at home? Not to cast aspersions or anything, I'm really just wondering what might go on in the mind of a pill popping radio talk show host when not bloviating an endless stream of hate while surrounded by his minions?

Yeah, I know, shame on me for venting. Not much love here I know.

12/09/2006 8:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No shame for venting! Yay for honesty and self-disclosure! :)

And why is it that the ones who rail (on the radio or in congress) against their perception of sexual sins are the ones caught up in the very same thing? Gotta borrow some Shakespeare here...."Methinks the lady doth protest too loudly."

12/11/2006 12:38 PM  
Blogger Christian Democrat said...

I got into a conversation the other day with a friend and had said something about "easy Grace." My friend commented that all too many Christians accept the grace of God but don't consider that they should attempt to live better lives.

And there is the conundrum - we are broken, we are sinners, we can't live up to the law so God gave us grace but some seem to take that all to add up to the idea that sin is OK because it is forgiven. Reading the book of Romans points to the falacy in that thinking.

It is those that claim to sin not at all that often sin all the more and get caught up in the sick cycle of sin/repent/sin/repent/sin sin sin. All the while speaking forth that to be Godly is within reach.

Humility. Kindness. Love. Compassion. Praise and worship. The community of church. Good works (and this from a Lutheran!). Admitting that we are broken but also admitting that we want to be LESS broken and working in our own minds and hearts towards an unachievable goal. Being willing, no glad, to lose some that this life offers in faith of something better.

Each of us can have a real faith, one that is personal and incredibly valuable here and now as well as in the ever-after. Those that do tend to not be shouting out how perfect they are.

12/12/2006 3:11 PM  
Blogger Liberator_Rev said...

My friend,
I believe that you will appreciate the work that I have been doing for over 10 years on the www to spread the good news that Jesus Christ was one of the greatest Liberal leaders of all time and that those who follow him in the U.S.A. ought to be supporting the Liberal policies of the Democratic Party and opposing the Conservative Right Wing policies of the Republican Party.
See http://LiberalsLikeChrist.Org &
http://JesusNoRepublican.Org & http://JesusNoDemocrat.Org (tongue in cheek).
Rev. Ray Dubuque
You might want to join the 250+ progressive sites and blogs already linking to us.

12/31/2006 4:38 PM  
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1/13/2007 7:14 AM  

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