I've been watching the post-election bruhaha with some amusement.
I have to get this out: A lot of my friends and associates for some reason think I'm a Republican because I don't hate Bush and am generally contemptuous of liberal politics. Actually, I'm libertarian which means I'm a true small government and fiscal conservative but I don't give a damn about how people conduct their personal lives.
Just so you know where I'm coming from.
Anyway, what's striking to me in the last week is that Democrats seem to have no idea how and why they swept elections. It's evident in what has been going on the last few days.
Pelosi and the leftist Democrats think that they've been given a mandate to lead from the left as evidenced by her support of Murtha and Alcee Hastings for committee chair choices. The Blue Dog centrist/conservative Democrats believe that America remains in the middle and just simply wanted change on the Iraq issue.
My opinion? The Blue Dogs have it right. This election was the Perfect Storm of two trends....the growing dissatisfaction with Iraq and the historical loss in Congress of a 6-year President. This was not an endorsement, by far, of leftist ideography. Witness how Murtha crashed and burned in the secret ballot and we shall see what happens with Hastings.
Will the Federal minimum wage be raised? Probably. Although I have to admit that the concept bothers me as it seems to me a an issue best raised at the State or local level...it's certainly not in the Constitution which should automatically devolve it to the States.
Will Medicare be able to negotiate prices directly with the pharmaceutical companies? This seems to me so common sense that I feel like there must be a snake in the grass somewhere. Why would the GOP be so against this on principle? And, yes, I know my leftist friends will claim that it's because they're money-grubbing bastards in the pockets of Big Drug but that's too simplistic...
Bush tax cuts? That's the third rail. Say all you want about "tax cuts for the rich" but I ain't rich and the cuts have saved me $2k or more each year. That's money I could not do without. Take the cuts away and you will not be popular and you'll probably damage the economy as well.
Iraq? God, who knows? No opinion here. There are good arguments for all points of view.
So who won the election? All Americans. Why? Because the right extremists can't dictate and the left extremists can't legislate without compromise. So we're either going to have some very common sense government over the next 2 years or total pig-headed gridlock.
2008 will prove interesting.