Friday, November 10, 2006

Election 2006

I don't have much to say about the elections. I'm not optimistic that the Democrats will do much of anything now that they control Congress. But I do share a sense of relief that, at least, things will be a little harder for the Bush Administration. It seems clear that the war was the key element driving the anti-Republican backlash, which is great, though I doubt this will result in troop withdrawal. And I very strongly doubt we're going to see Impeachment proceedings. I'd love to be proven wrong on both counts. I'd love to see the DLC lose control over the Democratic Party. I'm not holding my breath on that one either.

I admit that prior to the election I grew increasingly irritated with the standard-issue Liberal exhortations that everyone vote. I disagree with those who say that "no matter what side you're on, so long as you vote, that's what's important". (If you're going to vote for a Bush-type, I'd much rather you stayed home, frankly.) This annoying, patriotic faith in "liberal democracy" in the face of all manner of evidence that not only is the system broken, but it's rotten to the core, is tiresome to me. Similarly, I disagree with the idea that, if you don't vote, you don't have the right to "complain" or that this renders any "remotely political" thing you have to say automatically irrelevant. There are numerous perfectly rational reasons why someone would choose not to vote, especially given the stolen presidential elections, and the Diebold business, and the lack of much real difference between the two major parties.

That said, I voted, and I still think that voting is worth doing and important, especially for local elections. And while it is true that the major parties share the same basic assumptions about business and American power, and it's also true that at no point have "the people" had much to do with what the ruling class likes to call "the national interest", nevertheless the Republicans are demonstrably worse, even if only slightly. So a vote against them is ok by me, until such time as we have something concrete to vote for. For that reason, Tuesday's results are at least an encouraging sign that Americans are not completely insane.

Elsewhere, check out post-mortems by Brian Leiter, Lenin, Alexander Cockburn & Jeffrey St. Clair, and the always inspiring Stan Goff.

1 comment:

Brandon said...

I also don't think the Democrats are going to accomplish much. They certainly won't impeach; if they do, and they manage to get Bush out of office, we have to endure four years of Cheney. The Democrats certainly aren't THAT stupid.

I'm glad there's finally going to be checks and balances again. More than anything, that's what we needed. The last six years must have made the forefathers turn in their graves. With the Democrats controlling Congress, there will be finally be some oversight of the executive branch--which is Congress's job, as outlined in the Constitution, and one the Republican Congress wouldn't do. But our forefathers knew what they were doing, and I'm thankful that tyranny can only be a bad joke in this country, instead of a reality.

I've never lost my faith in our democracy. If Congress won't reign the president in, leave it to the people to elect statesmen who will.