Monthly Archives: December 2006

>OP ED: Welcome to the Lieberman Senate.

>Well… now that the Democrats control the Senate … ah … hmmmmm. What did I just say? The Democrats control the Senate? No. No. No. In fact, the person who controls the Senate is a man the Dems booted … betrayed … insulted. The person who controls the Senate is the newly independent Senator from Connecticut, Joe Lieberman.

His thumping (the new term of art, thanks to Bush) of the Democratic nominee, who was vigorously endorsed by Lieberman’s old colleagues in the Senate, makes Lieberman a truly independent legislator. He is free of party loyalty and entitled to more than a little pay back, which I feel certain will be the case at the most critical moments.

On every close vote, he is going to be the “go to” guy. On any issue where Lieberman is needed to create a Democrat majority, his price can be high. If he decides to vote with the GOP on Iraq, abortion, and some social and economic measures, he creates a tie in the Senate, and Vice President Dick Cheney gets to caste the deciding vote.

At the same time, the guy who might have balanced off Lieberman by crossing over to the Democrat ranks, GOPer Lincoln Chaffee, was retired by the voters. This is truly the “Lieberman Congress.” He is the Majority Leader of Self — a majority of one.

It is going to be interesting, to say the least.

>REACT: If you can’t join ‘me, draft ’em

>In the previous blog, I alluded to the legislation proposed by New York Democrat Charlie Rangel, which would re-impose the draft. As I think about it, this deserves a little more attention.

Who would have expected it? After a significant victory at the polls based on opposition to the Iraq war, the grateful Democrats propose to end all wars by … ya have to love the logic … by bringing back the old draft. If this proposal had seen the light of day during the campaign, it would likely have cost the Democrats the Senate – maybe even the House.

If I happened to be one of the ubiquitous anti war peaceniks who gave the all to the Democrats, I would be a bit upset. Instead of sparing my kids the rigors of war, I now set them on acertain path to participation in the much despised military-industrial complex.

Rangel suggest that if the offspring of the warmongers had to face the enemy, there would be no wars. Well, under that thinking, there would be no United States … no France … no England. There are times an honorable nation has to repel the forces of evil.

But, even in an unpopular war, the draft would make cannon fodder of the children of the hawks and the doves. At least, the hawks, doves, and yes, even the chickens have a choice.

Rangel has it all backwards, as usual. (You know, in D.C. he not considered the sharpest knife in the drawer.) A voluntary military require … well… volunteers. This means that an unpopular war would be difficult to man (or woman). Noble battles tend to draw more volunteers. With conscription, the super hawks in Washington can undertake any war … popular or not without concern for troop levels

Finally, let’s remember that the powerful and influential will always find ways to get around “the system.” Don’t count on THEIR kids to be in the front line. It didn’t happen under the old draft system, and won’t happen in any new one. Those with the means and the desire to exempt their kids will find a way.

They say that Rangel is offering draft legislation just to make a point, with no desire to see it passed – and no ability to get it passed. If that is the case, then his point is well made. Rangel is a contentious fool.

And he now heads the all powerful Ways and Means committee. Ouch!

>OP ED: GOP may be the winner in this eleciton.

>Since I think political philosophy is much more important than partisanship, I have come to the conclusion that the defeat of the Bush-led Republican party is a good thing – for the nation and for the conservative cause.

I am pleased that the shift in power was accomplished by a very small shift in voter preference. When the nation is just about equally divided along party lines, it only takes a few votes to cause seismic changes in relative partisan power. Contrary to Democrat claims and desires, this was not a mandate for change, but a mild course adjustment for the public. If the Dems actually believe their own utterances, they are likely to pursue an agenda that will put the elephant party back in the driver’s seat in two years.

Much of the Democrat success was through the recruitment of candidates a lot further to the right than had been the case in the past. Pro-lifers and born again Christians were among the Election Day winners. The upcoming Congress will not likely jump too far to the left. It is very likely that the House and Senate leadership, being more of the strident left tradition, will find rebellion in the ranks if the leadership advances an agenda too liberal for their members – and the American people.

If the Democrat victory is not as scary as it first appeared, the GOP defeat is not quite so tragic. This Republican administration lacked a conservative compass. Elements of the Patriot Act invoke a freedom-stealing nationalism that any legitimate conservative would abhor – and we did. The spend thrift ways of the GOP majority was disheartening to the point of despair.

It was not easy supporting the D.C. Republicans merely because the alternative seems so much more egregious. Now we have the alternative. Now we can plan for a future with a renewed (hopefully) GOP most dedicated to principle.

In addition, the Republican leadership in the House and Senate was uninspired, at best. One would think that any change would be an improvement, but looking at the installation of the junior uninspired leadership to the top posts suggests that the congressional Republicans still don’t get it. It is ironic that Dennis Hastert was at once the longest serving GOP Speaker, and the least effective. Senate leader Bill Frist had the moxie, but lacked the charisma. Their good-old-boy approach was one of the under reported reasons for the collapse of the vaunted GOP political machine.