Regarding the Democratic takeover of the congress: I’m actually surprisingly calm. Not surprised at all. I think I’d have been much more surprised had we hung on to Congress.
First of all, I blame no one but George W. Bush for this situation.
I can’t express my utter disappointment in this man. We elected him to office in 2000, over Al Gore. We (being the majority of Americans) re-elected him by a large majority vote over John Kerry in 2004. The voters that sent him to the White House not once, but twice, did so for a reason. Like myself, they believed in the principles of the conservative Republican Party, and I believe they still do. They are the same majority of Americans that just removed them from power, and elected the liberal Democratic Party to power. Why?
Speaking from a conservative Republican viewpoint, I’ll propose the following answers. I know my liberal friends are reading this, and understand that I have no intention of offending anyone. I’m simply presenting my viewpoint.
First and foremost in my opinion: abortion. We’ve had six years now to stop this heinous crime. I sincerely thought by now Roe vs. Wade would have been overturned, and abortion would be a fading memory, outlawed as it should be. What did GW and his buddies do with this hot election issue? Nothing. I remember him plainly stating how important this was to him.
Second, in the interest of the U.S.A: energy independence.
In 2000, I imagined that by now we’d be busy exploring, drilling, producing, and refining our most precious resource…petroleum. This would have been very beneficial in several areas, (1) it would have employed Americans, (2) it would lower the price of gasoline at the pumps, and perhaps most important of all, (3) it would have severely reduced our dependence on energy from the Middle East. Good heavens! GW and his buddy Cheney are oil men! Hell, GW lived many years in my old hometown of Midland, the heart of the Permian Basin, and Cheney is an old Halliburton dude. Even the most radical tree huggers have been forced to admit that the petroleum industry and the environment can co-exist peacefully.
In addition to production of this naturally finite resource, we should have been years ahead in the search for alternative energy sources. Fossil fuel isn’t going to last forever. What did GW and his buddies do with this hot election issue? Nothing. I remember him plainly stating how important this was to him.
Against this backdrop, what have I seen come from this administration? A total, overwhelming obsession with a third world nation named Iraq.
George W. was hit very early on in his Presidency with 9/11, an event of unimaginable proportions. People can debate forever that he could have foreseen, and possibly prevented it. These arguments are neither here nor there. Could Pearl Harbor have been foreseen and prevented? Who knows? It doesn’t matter.
I believe GW’s reaction to that event was proper and well thought out. Given the total chaos of the moment, I think he did about as well as anyone could have done, given the hand he was dealt.
The decision to invade Afghanistan in pursuit of Bin Laden was the correct one. It was Bin Laden, after all, who had just masterminded the murder of thousands of totally innocent Americans, and had every intention of doing it again and again.
However, somewhere along the way, the focus turned to Iraq. In my humble opinion…was Saddam a monster who tortured, raped, killed, poisoned, bombed, and murdered thousands of people, including his own countrymen? Yes. Did he deserve to be removed from power? Yes. Did Iraq possess weapons of mass destruction? Of course they did. I remember seeing them use them against Kuwait with my own eyes in the original Gulf war in 1991. There is no debating this point. Will these weapons ever be found? Very probably not. Was Saddam a really bad dude that would have been more than happy to sponsor terrorists that would love to kill Americans, or any free people? Is there any doubt? Did he need to go? Of course.
Ok. Given this, the removal of Saddam was the right decision to make. HOWEVER…I still have the newspaper from the day we captured him. The date is December 14, 2003. Our mission was accomplished on 12/14/03. Why are we still there? It is not the mission statement of the U.S.A. to babysit Iraq.
It is GW’s obsession with Iraq that started the current downfall of the Republican Party.
Another point - the President of the United States can’t afford to pay total attention to public opinion polls when making critical decisions. Democrat John F. Kennedy didn’t when facing down the Russians in the Cuban missile crises in 1961. I was alive then and remember very well being scared to death that the end was near, and that we were all going to die. Democrat Harry S. Truman certainly didn’t when he made the gut-wrenching decision to drop the atomic bombs on Japan. In both cases, decisions had to be made to provide for the safety of the U.S.A., and other people as well around the world. However, the President shouldn’t completely ignore opinion polls, either. GW’s approval rating has been slipping not only for a short time, not only for months, but for the last couple of years.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe he achieved the lowest approval rating of any president? Apparently, this was totally ignored by the administration as it pursued its decision to “stay the course” in Iraq. Any banker knows the value of “trending” data over a lengthy period of time. Maybe GW should have paid attention to the bankers.
All in all, GW and the Republicans brought this on themselves. They’ve been too secure in their jobs for too long. Hopefully, this will be a “wake-up” call for them to remember why they were elected in the first place.
Of course, the task for the newly empowered Democrats is to figure out what to do with the mess they inherited, while maintaining security and peace, along with voter confidence.
Do I believe that we’re safer today from terrorism than we were on 9/11? Hell, yeah. The recent detection of those bomb infected planes headed to the U.S.A. from Great Britain is proof.
In closing, I just feel so frustrated to think what might have been… went up in a pile of dust in Iraq. It might be a long, long time before the Republican Party enjoys a President, House and Senate in power again. Again…just my thoughts on the loss of Congress. I sincerely hope I haven’t offended anyone. If so, it was certainly not my intention.