What a Democratic Congress means

While it is still the “Twin Parties of Militarism”, having the Democrats in power will mean important differences.

1) The noxious assaults on freedom, like revoking habeas corpus, ignoring the Geneva Conventions, CIA torture prisons, and torture in general will be rolled back. This is a seriously big deal.

2) The vote was an antiwar vote. The Dems will be forced to act because it’s obvious the US is losing the wars and because the populace wants them ended. During the Civil Rights era, Dem senators strongly opposed it at first, then finally backed it and passed the Civil Rights act because that’s where the votes were and they saw the handwriting on the wall. The same process will probably happen on the wars now.

3) Supreme Court nominations. Bush will not be able to get a right winger confirmed with a Dem senate. Another major big deal.

4) The Senate will ratify the Kyoto global warming agreement as neandertal fundamentalists will no longer be able to block it. Bush will still veto it (will the Senate be able to override?), however environmental causes in general will now have a much easier time of it.

5) Investigations. The Dems will control the committees, have subpoena power, and be able to start investigations.

6) The neocon / Religious Right agenda is dead because their base in Congress is either gone or no longer in control. The lunatics no longer control the asylum. Now we just have to deal with garden variety imperialists rather than crazed extreme right zealot imperialists.

The corporate agenda of both parties does remain unchanged as does their slavering defense of Zionism. If they attempt more wars or balk at leaving Iraq and Afghanistan, there will be huge outcry and massive protests because it is now crystal-clear to all that the antiwar forces ARE the majority.

There is much to do and organize on. However the climate for doing so is now much more favorable to the Left. We are no longer swimming against the tide (and maybe we never really were.) The extreme Right-wingers who had jacked the government have been deposed.


  1. Golly, what an optimistic fellow you are, Bob!

    1) Just how do you see the Dems rolling back these noxious items, assuming they actively wanted to?

    2) Congress has precious little influence on foreign (or war) policy, and there’s no way the Dems are going to cut off funding “of our troops”.

    3) The Dems had the votes to block Bush’s SCOTUS nominations so far. But so far, only the right wing has managed to block one of his nominations. I grant that the “nuclear option” is now off the table, but some of the Dems that enabled it (notably Lieberman) are still in place.

    4) I doubt it. I hope I’m wrong.

    5) So they will. I think it will be very interesting to watch just what gets investigated, and how thoroughly. I’m prepared to wait & see on this one.

    6) Yes–with the caveat that there are still plenty of lunatics in control of the executive agencies of the government, including one who is demonstrably willing to rule by secret executive orders.

    Speaking of bipartisan Zionism, here’s an interesting table: http://stopmebeforeivoteagain.org/2006/11/low_profile.html

  2. 1) They just have to repeal the noxious laws that were passed and I’m betting some will be with more later. The spell has been broken. The witch is dead.

    3) It’s the other way around now. Bush has to nominate someone he thinks the Dems will approve.

    5) LA Times has a piece today, I’ll blog it now, on the upcoming investigations.

    Or I could just be a cock-eyed optimist!

  3. 1) Veto.

    3) I hope so. Trouble is, Bush has been nominating stealth candidates (eg Roberts) without a smoking gun in their closet. The big advantage the Dems have, though, I grant, is the ability to, more or less quietly, bottle up nominations in committee. Well, not so quietly in the case of SCOTUS nominations, but at least they don’t have to come to the floor.

    5) Yes, I’ve read it. I do have some hope for Conyers, Waxman and a couple other committee chairs.

    It’ll be interesting, for sure. But everything they do is going to be shaped by 2008.

  4. I’m not expecting everything to be ducky. Just that this election was a major and badly needed reversal of ominous trends that I think we longer much have to worry about.

  5. Sue’s opinion: The Democrats are not significantly different from the Republicans. But a vote for the Democrats in this election was a vote against the Republicans and their agenda. Dems don’t really have an agenda (other than republican light) — We will now have to force them to be different.

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