Brief comments on election...
Well, this is what I wanted and what I voted for. It would be tremendously better if America had three or four parties; in that setup each party could carry a meaningful message, and you could replace something bad with something clearly better. Given the two-party setup, the only way to knock some sense into one brand is to pick the other one.
Joe Lieberman could form the core of a new party.
Another thing I'm watching: Rick Santorum and J.D. Hayworth were (rather surprisingly) defeated. Santorum and Hayworth are tough-minded independent thinkers; Hayworth probably the nearest thing to Teddy Roosevelt in today's setting. With both of these guys thoroughly disgusted by party antics, and free of party loyalty, they will be speaking even more freely.
The media and the parties are still discussing politics in terms of The Issues. It's blazingly obvious that The Issues were not nearly as important to the voters; what the voters want is just plain competence. As in GET SOME DAMN THING DONE. JUST ONE DAMN THING WOULD BE FINE, IF YOU ACTUALLY ACCOMPLISH IT.
For example, a subject I've mentioned here often: opening up more territory for oil exploration, in the Gulf of Mexico and in Alaska. More than once the House and Senate approved ANWR, each time cleverly understanding that the other house would turn it down. Net result: Zero. George Vichy also had a chance to accomplish these goals by executive order. Net result: Zero. All of them were more concerned with continuing to Have The Issue.
We don't give a happy horseshit about your continued ability to hammer the opposition or make clever ads. JUST GET ONE DAMN THING DONE.
Interesting observation by Scarborough on MSNBC just now... says that the replacement of Rumsfeld marks the end of the idealistic Wilson approach. From here on, he thinks, Bush will be listening more to hard-nosed realists who don't give a damn about 'young democracies' or 'transforming the Arab world', and who care mainly about defending this country against its enemies.
Lord, let it be so!