What happens next?

“When Democratic committee chairmen issue subpoenas and conduct oversight hearings, will news accounts portray them as harassing the White House? Or will journalists recognize that aggressive congressional inquiries were a normal practice until the GOP Congress, which loved to investigate the Clinton White House, essentially stopped scrutinizing the Bush administration? And if Senate Republicans who denounced Democratic filibusters start trying to talk things to death, will journalists call them on the double standard?

While Bush retains the biggest megaphone, Democratic leaders will be getting more television time now that they control the House and Senate. In a media-drenched culture, the sound-bite warfare may prove as important as the legislative maneuvering.”

Howard Kurtz – For Democrats, How Long a Honeymoon? – washingtonpost.com.

Those are good questions, I can’t wait to see how the Media steps up to the plate this time. Will they remember their charter? You know the one they seem to have imbraced about being the watchdogs of liberties. Will they again try to resume that job? Or will they pass the torch to the “New Media” here on the blogosphere?

The Flip-Flopper-in-Chief

It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad.

After arguing during the campaign that Democrats would undermine national security, President Bush changed course today and said America’s enemies should not read this week’s ground-shaking election results as a sign of U.S. weakness.

Bush radio: Elections do not reflect a loss of U.S. will | Chron.com – Houston Chronicle.

The President and his advisors would be having a field day after a Democrat made the same about face on talking points.

Lies and the Media

“Journalists by nature shy from pinning the “liar” label on any political leader, but President Bush’s acknowledgments that he had not been forthcoming about his plans to dump Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld have kicked up a fuss at the White House and sparked a debate about the limits of presidential evasion.”

Howard Kurtz – President’s Evasion Raises Truth Issues – washingtonpost.com.

I take exception to the use of the word any in the above quote. Reporters have no problem going after business leaders, religious leaders, or even run of the mill politicians. They didn’t seem to have much trouble implying (pointedly) that Clinton wasn’t being honest. But, for some reason they seem to cut George a lot of slack in the veracity department. You know, I have to wonder about the reason for this. Maybe if the media as a whole held the President to the same standard they would hold any one of us, and were held to that same standard themselves, there would be less partisan bickering in this country.

Think back over the past few election cycles, how much of the political debate has been based on outright lies? The political operatives continually us unsubstantiated innuendo to paint their opponents which is then picked up by the partisan media before being pushed into the mainstream without the benefit of actual fact checking. Hell fact checking used to be what news reporters did. But then again, news reporters used to be what main stream media hired.

Maybe what we need is a code like you find on restaurant reviews. Instead of the cost we should see a number of checkmarks indicating the actual number of confirmed facts in the story. That way we could weigh the conclusions reached with some degree of confidence we aren’t being fed a load of BS by “fair and balanced” reporting.

Post Election – Waiting

I guess the reason I have been quiet in regards to the resounding change in the political climate is I have been waiting for the other shoe to drop. Congratulation to all of the winners across the country. In particular, congratulation to us, the American people. We have begun the process of standing up for our rights and not letting the administration sow it fear and distrust.

I found the parts of the President’s Press Conference I had the opportunity to view informative(?). My take on his demeanor did not match what I later saw reported. I thought he looked as uncomfortable and combative as I have ever seen him. And he still dances around the answers avoiding all contact with the question as often as not.

Of course we all know the outcome of the elections were the fault of everyone but George W.

Dana Milbank – The Thumpees Try Their Luck at the Blame Game – washingtonpost.com:

“He blamed bad luck: ‘If you look at race by race, it was close.’

Implicitly, of course, he blamed Donald Rumsfeld, by firing him as defense secretary in favor of the ‘fresh perspective’ of Robert Gates.

And, not least, he blamed the uncomprehending voters: ‘I thought when it was all said and done, the American people would understand the importance of taxes and the importance of security. But the people have spoken, and now it’s time for us to move on.'”

David Broder had this to say…
Facing Up to Reality – washingtonpost.com:

The only people who seemed oblivious to the warning signs were President Bush and his political adviser, Karl Rove. Against all evidence, including the warnings of other Republicans, they kept insisting that Republicans would hold the House and Senate. Bush said at his news conference yesterday, “I knew we were going to lose seats,” but he acknowledged he was shocked that the twin themes he kept pushing — taxes and security — didn’t save the GOP from “a thumping.”

Do you think it’s a genetic defect, this being out of touch with reality? Both papa and son seem afflicted…

Pelosi, who spent October out campaigning, showed a clearer grasp of the public mood than did Bush. He was still halfway between avowing a new open-minded readiness to listen and learn and his more familiar insistence on living in a world of moral absolutes. Thus the conflict between his welcoming fresh ideas on Iraq and insisting single-mindedly that “victory” is the only acceptable outcome for the military intervention that most of the voting public now judges a mistake.

With the President’s Teams insistence on appearances only in front of hand-picked crowds of true believers in the President’s agenda, how could he ever have a clue that his ideas were not shared by the majority of Americans?

E. J. Dionne Jr. – Meeting at The Middle – washingtonpost.com:

“American voters, in their wisdom, ended an era on Tuesday. They rejected a poorly conceived war policy in Iraq that has weakened the United States. They rejected a harshly ideological approach to politics that cast opponents as enemies of the country’s survival. They rejected a president so determined to win an election that he was willing to slander his opponents by saying: ‘The Democrat approach in Iraq comes down to this: The terrorists win and America loses.’ The voters decided there was no decency in that.”

This is the part of the President’s character that just floors me. He calls us traitors and now he wants to forgive and make up?

“The other obligation of this new majority is to answer the economic discontent that helped build its victory. Republicans prayed that the economy would matter in this election. Their prayers were answered in an odd way: Two-fifths of the voters told the pollsters that the economy was ‘extremely important’ in their voting decision — and they voted 3 to 2 for Democratic House candidates. A lot of Americans are losing ground, and they spoke up.”

It is in regards to the economy that neither Bush President has understood. Their upbringing and circumstances leave them with an inability to fathom the total fear of financial failure that Americans below the upper middle class live in always.

George Bush is a rarity in America in that he has never in his life had to worry about where his next meal may be coming from, and that life experience shows in every policy decision he makes. As I keep saying, it is the economy, stupid …Just not the economy of the Board Rooms. Nor is it the economy of the Mac Mansions, although the owners of the Mac Mansions may have a problem if the housing market fails to keep driving this economy.

Then we have George Will’s take on the election…
George F. Will – A Loss’s Silver Lining – washingtonpost.com:

“At least Republicans now know where the ‘Bridge to Nowhere’ leads: to the political wilderness. But there are three reasons for conservatives to temper their despondency.

First, they were punished not for pursuing but for forgetting conservatism. Second, they admire market rationality, and the political market has worked. Third, on various important fronts, conservatism continued its advance Tuesday.

About $2.6 billion was spent on the 468 House and Senate races. (Scandalized? Don’t be. Americans spend that much on chocolate every two months .) Although Republicans had more money, its effectiveness was blunted because Democrats at last practiced what they incessantly preach to others — diversity. Diversity of thought, no less: Some of their winners even respect the Second Amendment. “

At least we have a few weeks before anyone will begin to expect miracles from the newly elected majority. May God ( yours , mine, and/or theirs) watch over their labors.

the ramblings of my brain over that first cup… and other meanders