Thursday, November 9, 2006

My general thoughts on the Dem victory

As I previously had written, I was rooting for the Dems to win, though I didn't care a hell of a lot. I certainly do not believe, as Entercenter does, that this was the 'most important election, ever.' So, why did I root for the Dems to win, and what changes do I see upon the horizon? I rooted for the Dems to win for a few primary reasons:
  1. The Republicans had lost their right to govern, given their myriad of scandals and inability to keep the bloated budget in check.
  2. I believe in checks and balances and a balance of power.
  3. I am hoping for some accountability and subpoenas to fly around - at least with regards to intelligence failures in Iraq.
  4. I am hoping for gridlock and a minimum amount of bills to be passed.
  5. The Dems need to show the nation what they stand for, and quit being just a gadfly - they need to have a stake in the future of this country, just as Republicans do. This will hopefully unify the nation.
What changes do I see upon the horizon?
  1. The budget should be tighter, as it was when Clinton was president and the Repubs were in Congress. The idea is that with checks and balances, the president will threaten to veto a pork-ridden budget, thus requiring a tighter, leaner budget. Furthermore, the Dems swept into office on the notion of fiscal responsibility. This is a positive change.
  2. Subpoenas flying around will bring some accountability back to the White House. Again, this is positive.
  3. Immigration reform will not happen. Any serious research into alternative fuel sources will not be undertaken. We will still be in Iraq. Gays will still be forbidden from the military, and there will not be any gay marriage. Abortion stays as is with the various restrictions in place. There will not be any serious social changes, just as there were no (serious) changes under Bush and the Repubs! This is neutral.
  4. The minimum wage will be raised. This is a positive change, despite Professor Kurgman's 'reservations.' ;-)
  5. We will continue to fund the UN, and the Dems will push for a more doveish UN ambassador. This is negative. The relations with Israel may be somewhat more sour. Again negative.
So what do I think overall? There is a net positive for America, but certainly not the 'dawn of a new era,' as many Dems would like to think. Despite Entercenter's proclamations, this is not a case of 'welcome back, America.' America will be relatively the same after Dems have taken office that they were prior to them taking office. That said, Sandmonkey has an interesting take on this election. He thinks it is a net positive for the Republicans. This is what Jonah Goldberg had previously written. Personally, I think it is a wash whether it helps or hurts the Republicans. It helps them because the Dems will likely not make major changes, and then the state of the economy will blamed on them in 2008. It hurts the Repubs, because now the Dems no longer look like a pathetic and defeated party. They are riding on the wave of success, and they need that to even have a chance in 2008. Moreover, they finally have a platform to air their views, and if they have anything of note to say, this will help them. Anyway, that is my analysis. We shall see what the future brings!


Irina Tsukerman said...

Actually, it may turn out to be a positive development for the Republicans if the Democrats continue talking the talk and do NOT bring about the change everyone expected them to bring. But we'll have to see what happens.

Red Tulips said...


I agree. And that is what Jonah Goldberg previously wrote a great column on the new 'Dems.'

Mr. Smarterthanyou said...

The investigations will result in leaking valuable information to terrorists, foreign powers will trust us less, thus sharing less info with us.

We will take a more French-like stance towards radical islam.

Very negative.

Democrats will focus on using the power of their offices to win in 2008, thinking that whatever damage they do to us in the meanwhile is justified in the end. Negative.

John Bolton will be out, and that is a huge negative.

Dems talked the talk on the deficit, let's see if they walk the walk on it in some way other than raising taxes.

Could be positive.

Unlike Democrats, who believe in a strict seniority system, the GOP will oust the stale old idiots from power positions, and hopefully bring younger, fresher (as in less Washintonified) people in to reshape the party. The will be much more focused as an opposition party than they were as a majority party. This will force the Dems to the middle, or will expose them to the masses. This is good, and what most of the GOP protest voters and stay-at-homers wanted.

If we bail on Iraq, we will be as trusted and respected in the world as the French. Not good

Minimum wage? What has happened in the last 10 years shows that this is a stupid issue, particularly at the federal level. Who works at minimum wage? Very, very few people, and then, only those with very marginal ability to contribute. Raising minimum wage may throw out the mentally retarded who push carts at grocery stores, because they may not be worth $7.50 to their employers. I can tell you, where I work, they don't pay less than $10.50 to start, and have to hire felons and work-release to get people. The market is making sure that anybody who can fog a mirror, read at a 7th grade level and speak english makes $10/hr. Purely symbolic, if not harmful to risky (from the employers standpoint) employees. Also creates more openings for illegal aliens.

Judges, it will be harder to get judges appointed who respect the rights of the people and the authority of the other branches. For example, so far only one state has rejected gay marriage bans, but judges are constantly trying to legislate from the bench. That is not the correct place to have that argument. Bad for the US

Immigration, forget it. We will reward illegals, and undermine Americans in the workplace. Construction wages are already repressed due to illegals, expect more poor Americans to be the result. Bad.

Voter ID. It needs signatures before January, or else democrats will not pass it. This could be a disaster, the integrity of our elections is vital to our survival. Democrats think they can win the election fraud war, so they want a weak system. We now have paperless voting, no ID voting, absentee ballots out the ying-yang. Where are the protections for my vote, to make sure it isn't cancelled by dead people, mulitple voters, aliens, felons? So bad it isn't funny.

The new head of the gov't reform comittee once told witnesses against Bill Clinton to go to China to escape having to testify before congress. Yeah, some watchdog. Bad.

Alcee Hastings, in line for the Intelligence Comittee chair, is a former judge impeached and disbarred for bribery. Real bad.

Rangel, to run the finance comittee, would like to raise taxes, would like to cancel current tax cuts, and that would be terrible for the economy. I don't think democrats even understand the impact of capital gains taxes on the economy. Bad

Red Tulips said...

Mr. Smarterthanyou:

Hard to say what the investigations will yield until they happen. But one this is for sure - we need to know why there was such an intelligence failure in Iraq.

I agree that Bolton being out is a negative and said as much.

The Dems have repeatedly claimed they believe in fiscal conservatism. If they deliver, it is a huge positive.

Immigration - Repubs have done nothing with it.

Judges - there are many horrific Republican judges. I spent hours writing a post about this in July.

Voter ID - Repubs really don't care about this issue, either.

There are many former Iran-Contra officials in Bush Jr's administration. That's bad.

Raising taxes is good if it gets us out of a deficit, which is bad for America in the long term. It is bad if it is an excuse to spend more money.

Mr. Smarterthanyou said...

Raising taxes usually results in less revinue. Raising capital gains taxes WILL slow the economy, as it raises the cost of buying new equipment (which take people build and operate) and building new buildings (which are then filled with new employees & equipment).

The intelligence failure in Iraq was due to the CIA being gutted by Clinton. The Dems will not change that.

I just saw on ynet that 87% of jews voted for Democrats. Seems jews are as much a monolithic block as blacks. My god, how can jews be so ignorant of history, even recent history? How can the US having a French foreign policy be good for Israel?

Red Tulips said...

Mr. Smarterthanyou:

You cannot be sure what brought on the intelligence failure re: Iraq, until an investigation is done. There should also be an investigation done into the way the war is being fought.

Raising taxes does not always result in less revenue. It depends how much the taxes are raised by. I am well aware of the Laffer Curve - but the point is that even ths Laffer Curve says that taxes need to be at a certain level for optimum revenue. I am not sure we are at that point.

As far as Jews go - maybe they voted for Dems for the reasons I cited? Dems are not some 'evil organization' bent on world destruction, sorry. And it is not like the Repubs have a stellar record on Israel.

Personally, I voted Libertarian as I couldn't stand any of my choices. I would have not voted, had my dad not pressured me into voting.

Mr. Smarterthanyou said...

The dems do not want an investigation, they want to score points for the anti-war crowd. That is pretty much demonstrated by the FACT that Bill Clinton and a bunch of Dems are on record saying Saddam had WMD's and were a threat. The policy of regime change was under Clinton. There is no way a Democratic investigation will in any way be critical of pre-Bush failures, or even of George Tenet, the Clinton holdover CIA director.

As far as HOW the war was won, Dems were saying we couldn't win in Afganistan, we couldn't win in Iraq. They predicted tens to hundreds of thousands of US casualties. Sanctimoniously forgetting their own words in order to bash what Bush did when they had NO alternative is not a legitimate investigation. Yet that is exactly what they are going to do, because to them, power is the reward, anything and everything that gets them there is acceptable. Just watch what happens.

The dems are already got exposed by internal memos outlining how they were using the 9/11 and "Plamegate" investigations for political purposes. Remember the docs they put on a public server, then when they were found, the whole story was about how the evil republicans snooped on a computer, rather than what the memos contained?

Is the point on taxation to increase them as much as possible until revinue drops?

Is the goal of gov't maximizing taxe revinue? I would think our founding fathers wanted minimum gov't interference in public life, with the minimum taxes to do that job.

No one has as positive an impact on support for Israel as Christian conservatives.

Thomas Forsyth said...

Irina> I am hopeful that you are right, though I also think its time the GOP stopped recruiting clowns like Katherine Harris. I'd also say that region-based idieological diversity would be good as proven by Linda Lingle and Ah-nold.

I also bet a few victories are anamolies and will be corrected in '08, but that may be two to four at most.

Also, I hope to see you post more often :)

Red Tulips> I do think same-sex marriage will gain more conservative advances in the state level, but I ultimately see it as a state issue, and best advanced state by state.

I disagree with you on raising the minium wage, as I see it raising the cost of living, though probably not in more expensive areas, where such wages are only paid to teenagers and the informal labor market.

I can see yoru point about taxes, though Rangel is a compassionate looter type, but the Blue Dogs and DLC gang will work to undermine anything too radical he comes up with, plus Bush may find the veto pen he lost under his couch just for any Rangel craziness.

With my background in Economics, I tend to favor the supply side/monetarist policies while I flirt with anarcho-capitalism, but nothing more than an occasional smooching, and I see your point on the Laffer Curve, though it is debatable about when we reach the optimum point of taxation. Personally, I'd favor a flat tax or a fiar tax and gut all the loopholes that the very wealthy exploit. I'd also like to turn over social programs to leftist billionaires and challenge them to actually solve the problem, as they'd have more incentive than people dependent on institutional poverty to keep their livelihood.

For the UN, do we really need any Ambassador at all, or a staff? I do wodner what purpose the UN serves for us, or at all these days.

Mr. Smarterthanyou said...

We need an ambassador to express the PRESIDENT's policy. No matter who it is, he will do Bush's bidding. For democrats to object, they must want someone too incompetent to do what bush wants, or someone who refuses to do what bush wants. Democrats only think elections have consequences when they win. Foreign policy is the job of the pres.

Yes, the best option for the UN is to stop funding it, and help guide its crash into the mud.

Red Tulips said...

Mr. Smarterthanyou:

On this we actually are in agreement.