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Democrats will not win House, Republicans will lose it
Tomorrow is Election Day in the United States. Every member of the House of Representatives is up for re-election, and one third of the United States Senate. It is difficult living in the greatest democracy in 12,000 years of civilization, and not after a while grow use to the freedoms that our ancestors gave their lives for.
The Constitution and Declaration of Independence could only have been created by a specific generation in the 18th century, the time known historically as the “Age of Reason”. These men, and they were men, knew more about the history of ancient Rome and Greece than we do. They had studied and read Plato, and Aristotle. They met in groups and talked and educated one another.
I dare say that today in a country of 300,000,000 Americans, we could not replicate the brilliance of the individuals, and their youth that met long ago and formed our government. It is truly one of the miracles of history, and this grand experiment has evolved and lasted for more than 200 years. It has survived the Civil War, a conflagration that consumed more lives than all other wars combined that the United States has been in since. We survived the Great Depression, thanks to the leadership of Franklin Roosevelt. Viet Nam and Watergate ripped the social fabric of this country apart, and we survived it.
Now tomorrow November 7, 2006 is our first opportunity to pass judgment as voters on the Republican’s handling of the Iraq war, and indirectly terrorism. President Bush is not up for election, and this means that people must vote indirectly on his policies. This vote will be communicated through the House of Representatives. I believe that people will not be voting for the Democrats tomorrow. I believe they will be voting AGAINST Republicans.
The momentum or perhaps anger against the President’s policies is so strong that the House of Representatives will switch hands, and with it will go the power to slow down the President’s momentum, and perhaps reverse many of his policies. Of course, we have the benefit of hindsight in looking at how our country has been guided over the last several years, but let’s revisit some of what has gone on, and decide the merits of the President’s actions.
We know now that the basis for the war was without merit. The underlying assumptions that Saddam was manufacturing Weapons of Mass Destruction, and perhaps would have used them to create great calamity for others was FALSE. Nevertheless we must now deal with the aftermath of the invasion. Iraq can not turn out well for us at this point. Regardless of what happens from this day forward, it will not be a friendly end for our involvement, just as Viet Nam did not end well. When you open Pandora’s Box, you do not know what will come out. Politically Pandora’s box is the equivalent of the “Law of unintended consequences.” We are paying a price for opening the box, America with its treasure, and energy, and more importantly our soldiers with their lives, and limbs.
We did not arm our soldiers well, many pay for their own body armor, and are cannibalizing steel off of other vehicles to reinforce the steel of the vehicles they drive. This happens in a country as rich as ours. The President wages war but sought no sacrifice from the American people. Instead he expands the National Debt to finance the war, and puts the burden on our unborn children to pay for. Simultaneously he created tax cuts for the Rich, which I approve of, but not in a time of deficit. You don’t borrow money from Japan, China, and the Europeans, and then give it to the rich via tax cuts, once again leaving the burden to the young in this country. That’s just plain WRONG.
Eavesdropping and the Bill of Rights
The President chose to circumvent the Constitution and the Bill of Rights by having the National Security Agency (NSA) create a huge funnel whereby conversations of ordinary citizens in the United States were monitored in the name of Anti Terrorism. Thirty year employees of the NSA reeked in horror at the notion. Every bone in their bodies told them it was wrong. All the President had to do was appoint Federal Judges to the NSA to approve and monitor the program. There are similar judges who sit in the FBI offices full time for over a decade now who routinely approve Federal wiretap orders.
The President has put himself above the law in this case. He knew he was secure with a Republican majority in both houses of Congress who would protect him in ways that Richard Nixon was not protected. Nixon would never have been driven from office if he had posssessed a Republican majority.
What about Congress itself?
I have been a student of Congress since Lyndon Johnson was President in 1963. For many decades I actively worked to create a Republican majority in both branches of the Congress. My background includes being a Barry Goldwater Republican. I have seen the filthy, back room, money changing aspects of politics all my life, and it has been on both sides of the aisles. What I see now that is unique is in your face corruption. The waste use to amount to hundreds of millions of dollars.
The waste is now billions of dollars, even tens of billions of dollars. There was a time as they say when the MERE APPEARANCE of IMPROPRIETY would be enough to drive an elected official from office. Now the appearance doesn’t mean anything anymore. You have Senators and Congressmen on both sides flying around in private corporate aircraft. As a result they have debts to the owners of those planes that must be paid for with favorable votes on bills. These bills cost the American taxpayer billions of extra, and unnecessary dollars.
An example is the Drug Bill for Senior Citizens where by the law specifically states that the federal government can not enter into negotiations with the drug companies to demand, and FORCE lower prices. Wow, you talk about giving away to billion extra dollars per year. Frankly, I don’t think the Republican members of Congress got enough from these drug companies. The drug companies gave the Republicans million in contributions, and got back tens of billions in the laws that were passed. If you are going to be corrupt, you ought to get paid more than that.
I believe that Tuesday, Election Day there will be a momentum tide that will sweep out the Republican majority in the House, and come close to taking the Senate. With this act, the American people will put the Congress and the President on notice that these types of actions will not stand. We may go back to gridlock, but for this writer, gridlock is a pleasure compared to our experiences of the last few years.
Goodbye and Good Luck
About the Author: Richard Stoyeck’s background includes being a limited partner at Bear Stearns, Senior VP at Lehman Brothers, Kuhn Loeb, Arthur Andersen, and KPMG. Educated at Pace University, NYU, and Harvard University, today he runs Rockefeller Capital Partners and StocksAtBottom.com