Prague Twin

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Day After

I don't need to link anything here. We all know that the Democrats will have a decent majority in the House, but nothing spectacular. What was spectacular was the campaign, the effort, and the result of that effort. The Democrats were smart enough to know that they didn't need to risk anything going into this election. George Bush's last two years, and the 109th Congress that followed in lock-step lost this election on their own. "We are not them" was enough to win. That, and a herculean effort by the Democratic party in getting the vote out won this election for the Democrats. No mystery here.

An interesting side note is that the huge problems with voting machines and the stolen election many of us feared never came to pass. Some would say that everyone who worried about it, like Brad for example, have wasted their time (ok, one link, I couldn't help myself). But I disagree. I think that the diligence of people like Brad (see link above, I'm conserving) may have saved this election. There could have been any number of people from either party that may have seen this as an opportunity to steal votes. Let's face it, voter fraud has a long tradition in the United States. But the openness of the society, the work of the people to get enough energy behind it forced the media to actually cover it. This, then, made it impossible for anyone to think about any hanky panky. The spotlight was on, as it should be, and all the people who worked so hard to make that happen should be proud of themselves. This election was a victory for open societies, the larger idea of transparency, and democracy as an institution.


What is really turning out to be interesting is the Senate election. Now that Allen has conceded, there will be no controversy. But the Senate is split right down the middle. They are counting Leiberman as a Democrat? 51-49 is not a sound majortiy. I would look for certain Senators to take the lead in building coalitions. However, the House will dictate what the Senate gets to vote on, so the Republicans are at a distinct disadvantage. But hopefully, people like Chuck Hagel will be part of a moderate coalition that will help sound, moderate policy flourish.

I am filled with optimism that an end to bitter partisanship is in the cards. Only time will tell if I am being over optimisitic.


  • I certainly hope you are right about the bipartisanship. I think you are right to be optimisitic about the Senate, though.

    By Blogger Charlie, at 11:16 PM  

  • Charlie,

    Wow, speak of the devil. You were the guy who led me to Hagel, although by know I would have heard about him.

    Best of luck in '08.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 11:39 PM  

  • Typo: know = now.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 11:40 PM  

  • It's really disappointing that Lincoln Chafee lost. He was one of a handful of Republicans I liked. And he was popular! Word has it that AIPAC engineered his demise..

    By Blogger Elizabeth, at 12:25 AM  

  • Lieberman as a Democrat? That's cheating. I'm almost certain of it. The Democratic voters in his own state rejected him. It was the middle of the road people who liked him. Calling him a Democrat is like history revision, and it's not that distant of a history yet!

    It proves an independent can win without the support of a party if he's got enough recognition... Oh, wait, now calling him a Democrat makes sense. "They" really don't want people to realize that, do they?

    By Blogger Stephanie, at 1:35 AM  

  • Ah, it's over. Checks and balances are restored. The voters weren't fooled and the election wasn't hijacked by Diebold and a gang of robocallers.

    I think you're right, there's been so much awareness and publicity about election fraud, that it would have backfired if they tried it on a large scale.

    By Anonymous Tom Harper, at 5:00 AM  

  • It was almost an audible sigh of relief that the world let out when the results of the elections were declared. My joy reached dangerous hights when the the chief architect of the iraq war and the current world record holder in wrong predictions, Rumsfeld, got his walking papers. Now they are telling that the sweet talking U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Bolton, is gonzo, too. What is happening with America? Are they going totally...sane?

    God bless America! (and I mean it)

    By Anonymous pekka, at 12:31 PM  

  • Let's see how many people change parties now. In the House I would expect to see a few switch as always happens when one party loses power (think how many Dems became Repubs after 1994.) I wonder if any of the "moderates" in the Senate won't see the light and move away from the GOP if the fundies/crazies win the post-election 2006 ideology purge. It could happen (Jim Jeffords switched to independent.) Let's face it, Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe now have more in common with Jim Webb than they do with James Inhofe or John Cornyn.

    Elizabeth, Linc could have survived if he had switched parties. he's talking about switching parties now. It's a shame, cuz' he is a good guy and I like him a lot. But it's important that Dems got control of the Senate. Now the whole appointment protocol will change. If a Supreme Court appointment should come up in the next two years, a Scalito may not get thru this time.

    By Blogger reality-based educator, at 1:45 PM  

  • Lieberman, and Jeffords (the other Independent in the Senate) are definitely in the drivers seat of that body. All it takes is one of them to say they'll caucus with the GOP for some reason, and the Dem's majority is gone.

    I don't see it happening, but that is a HUGE hammer that Joe now holds over the party that tried to toss him to the wolves.

    BTW, Reid's comments on the Gates nomination have already shown that partisanship probably won't go away.

    By Blogger Crazy Politico, at 1:52 PM  

  • Wow, thanks for all the comments everyone.

    I think the theme is pretty clear: a sigh of relief, but wait and see.

    Crazy Politico alludes to the continuation of partisan hostilities.

    We are talking about American politics aren't we? Don't expect the Red Sea to come back together overnight.

    But in the end this is a victory for everyone, only half the nation doesn't know it yet.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 3:19 PM  

  • PT

    Also,, could you post a response under heading "Democracy"? I left you with a question there and am still waiting for a reply.

    By Anonymous Arch Stanton, at 3:35 PM  

  • Crazy

    Yes you are right about the bipartisan dream. In Demo-speak bipartisan means "do it our way” This will become evident with not only Gates, but Bolton as well. The masses will be confused because the media will – as usual – report all stories in such a way as to show Democrats as angelic and fair and Republicans as mean spirited and nasty.

    I am really hoping that PT who can really be the voice of moderation at times will have the nerve to point out when Democrats are not working in the spirit of bipartisanship.


    Will you?

    By Anonymous Arch Stanton, at 3:43 PM  

  • Of course I will, and I will get back to Democracy as well. Thanks for the heads up. After about a week I usually stop trolling comment sections.

    I have to point out how ironic it is that you are already accusing the Democrats of the "my way or the highway" attitude which has been par for the course for the last 6 years and Bush has hinted will continue.

    The Bolton nomination half and hour after the conversation with Pelosi: that is supposed to be a sign of bi-partisanship? You must be joking. If Bush was serious, he would nominate someone less partisan.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 4:12 PM  

  • PT

    I make the accusation only after a review of past behavior. Case in point.

    When a Democrat president nominated R.B.Ginsburg, the nominee was allowed a simple up or down vote. There was no howling from the right side of the isle about the nominee being "extreme". This is in stark contrast to how the Democrats have behaved with respect to Supreme Court nominations. Wouldn’t you agree?

    Bolton is the president’s choice and he is already at the U.N. In your opinion - in the spirit of bipartisanship - does he or does he not deserve a vote?

    By Anonymous Arch Stanton, at 4:25 PM  

  • PT

    What are the qualities that Bolton posses that make you think he is "extreme"?

    By Anonymous Arch Stanton, at 4:26 PM  

  • The spoilers will try to wreck the majority at every opportunity. It really only means a lot of things are left in limbo leading up to 08.
    As long as the Dems put on an honest show, voters will see that their wishes are being stymied. Repubs and their allies would be foolish to push too far, but that has been there habit.
    Rebuilding the democracy is the main job, so at least keep the Dems honest.

    By Blogger Cartledge, at 4:47 PM  

  • PT

    While you did post a "May day" special, I notice you have not made a move to comemerate Veterans Day. Was this intentional, or just an oversight?

    By Anonymous Arch Stanton, at 5:51 PM  

  • I think some of us (gun owners) better keep a close eye on our newly elected Representatives and Senators. But that is nothing new, when didn't you have to keep close watch on a politician?

    God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

    By Blogger David Schantz, at 8:24 PM  

  • PT

    While I'm thinking about it, why don’t you regale the readers on why it is that Bolton had to get a recess appointment in the first place?


    Is THAT what you mean by "bipartisan"? What a load of crap.

    David (if I may)

    Yes it will be fun to watch all the people who cried about civil rights over NSA etc. not give a rats ass about civil rights when it comes to the defense of the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. (PT, you are of course excused from this as you & I have had many discussions on this document and I know of your support for the WHOLE Constitution and not just the parts that you fancy)

    By Anonymous Arch Stanton, at 11:09 PM  

  • I think you are too optimistic about partisanship. It will be there again and soon. Also, where do you get the idea that the House sends to the Senate what it votes on? Weird. Finally, if you actually think wackos, who were using the Diebold myth as an excuse for poor vote results for Democrats, somehow policed the supposed hidden and malovalent powers that fix elections into inaction only this time, you are living in cloud cook-oo land. I mean really, only when the Democrats lose are the machines fixed? Jesus. Otherwise a good posting and congrats to your ilk for a solid victory.

    By Blogger Roger Fraley, at 6:39 AM  

  • Arch,

    I don't recall calling Bolton extreme, I believe the work I used was "partisan" which is quite a lot different. I think his involvement in the Project for a New American Century is the biggest knock against him. He is firmly linked to the architects of the Iraq war which is the perhaps the most important factor in the recent election. He is partisan and controversial, and whether or not he deserves a vote is less important than whether or not this vote will help foster the spirit of bi-partisanship we are seeing. I argue it will not.

    If you would like to work up a piece on Bolton's recess appointment and sent it to me, I will publish it in the spirit of bi-partisanship. However, I would like to take this opportunity to encourage you to start a blog and grace us with some of your own thoughts to complement your rhetorical bashing of my own.

    My analysis of Bolton's recess apointment is a simple one: he is a decisive figure who was unable to get 60 votes during the confirmation process to stop the filibuster. But Bush in his "my way or the highway" governing style chose to override this tactic. So although Bolton is clearly a decisive figure, Bush is going to roll him right out there again to re-open the debate.

    What I mean by bipartisan is the NEW congress, not the old one. We all know the old one was perhaps the most bitterly partisan congress of all time. Try to keep up.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 11:29 AM  

  • .....with regards to Veterans day, one I was not blogging on Saturday, and two, I don't think Americans (who make up about 95% of my readers) need to be informed about it.

    I specifically pointed out May Day since it is a huge international event that is completely igored by Americans. I had very well informed readers thank me for pointing it out since they knew nothing of it.

    But thanks for keeping me on my toes.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 11:31 AM  

  • David,

    You can count on me to that end. I am a supporter of the 2nd Amendment (and the other 9 in the bill of rights especially) as I feel it is a very important part of the constitution.


    I guess we will just have to wait and see. Good luck in Australia!

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 11:35 AM  

  • Roger,

    Thanks for stopping by. I guess what I meant about the House is that because of the better majority, I expect to see the majority of important legislation to start there and then get passed on to the Senate as opposed to the other way around.

    Re-reading that, I see why you thought it was weird. Sometimes I'm thinking faster than I can wrtie and it shows.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 11:36 AM  

  • PT

    John Bolton got a recess appointment not because he lacked the votes in the Senate (Clinton used the recess appointment often when this was the case and the N.Y. Times didn’t seem to care back then) but rather because those great “bi-partisan thinkers” the Democrats didn’t like him and knew he had the votes to be confirmed so they filibustered to prevent the man from even getting a vote. This action is very unorthodox for the Senate and a sign of extreme partisanship on the part of the then minority Democrats.

    So since you indicate that involvement in partisan organizations is grounds for a filibuster mentality, you would then indeed support a filibuster on Democrat nominations who had involvement in partisan organizations?

    I have little or no time to start a blog of my own, and find that my participation here as a continuing balance or opposite point of view is more valuable to my cause (libertarian conservatism), but I pledge to you and any other reader here that – when prompted – I will expose my own thinking on any issue that you/they would like to engage. Perhaps you would let me “guest host” when you are not in? Now this would be a great “bi-partisan” gesture. Don’t you think? Who knows perhaps if people know more about my politics, you would no longer be able to get away with painting me as an extreme conservative. I will start with my own view on partisan politics.

    As a self-described partisan I actually applauded the actions - on principal - by the then Democrat minority in their “filibuster” of the Bolton nomination. I mean how brilliant: You don’t like the guy, so the very threat of a filibuster (there was actually never any filibuster in the classic sense of the word) is all you need to block a nomination of the party who sits in control of both houses of the congress and the White House. That’s strength.

    So you see, my qualm comes not from the partisan politics of elected Democrats but rather from people like yourself and others who post here that start blathering on about the spirit of bipartisan politics with little record of protesting the partisan nature of your own party. It is to those people I say: Live up to your word or modify your opinion.

    For myself when I elect conservatives, I elect them to promote a conservative agenda and not to “get along” with the other party. In my mind the congress of the U.S. is probably a pretty cushy place to be and there is a distinct danger presented to our democracy when we allow complacency there. A bipartisan congress is a lazy congress.

    Much of this nations greatness comes from the spirit of partisanship and I encourage each and every one of you to embrace it from time to time (not that you don’t already engage in it, your just afraid to proudly admit it for the fear of being politically incorrect).

    Any questions?

    By Anonymous Arch Stanton, at 3:37 PM  

  • PT

    You, like myself, are a very busy person and I understand your not posting a "Veterans Day special"

    By Anonymous Arch Stanton, at 3:39 PM  

  • Arch,

    I've tried to explain many times that I am not a die-hard Democrat. My support of the Democrats in this election is largely attributable to the need to real in the unchecked power of the Bush administration and the rubber stamp 109th.

    I know it is impossible for you to comprehend this, but I will continue to try to get it through to you.

    I believe in balance of power and cooperation at both the international and intranational level. I wasn't upset when the Republicans took control of the Congress in '94 because the Democrats had gained too much power and were abusing it.

    Although the Democrats tend to better represent my political leanings, I am far from a major supporter. I would like to see a third party (or better yet several third parties) gain some power. But until then, I will gnerally suppport opposition in the spirit of forcing those in power to cooperate with those who are not.

    I have never claimed that Democrats or liberals are non-partisan. I find non-partisanship to be a very rare quality these days. Although I fall into partisan thinking, I recognize that as a fault and all I can say is, "I'm working on it."

    I just have two questions...

    1. Since you admit to being a partisan, I wonder why you accuse others of being partisan as if it is an affliction.

    2. How exactly does the Bush administration represent your "liberatarian conservative" political leanings?

    Finally, with regards to Bolton, my point is simple: if Bush is serious about working with the Democrats and cooperating, why doesn't he appoint someone to Bolton's post who isn't such a controversial and partisan figure that the Democrats in congress have made clear they do not want in the position.

    Stating that Democrats have acted in a partisan way or that Clinton did the same thing does not even begin to approach this question.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 4:28 PM  

  • I'd still like to see 08 become the year of the Independent/Third Party Candidate.

    God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

    By Blogger David Schantz, at 7:03 PM  

  • PT

    In this particular context I make no accusation of your being a die hard Democrat and am confused why you bring it up. I know quite well that you are not (at least not any longer), and have acknowledged this many times now. My charge is simply this:

    You make an expectation of bi-partisan behavior of Republicans while wholly excusing in the past partisan behavior of Democrats. I just want to make sure you and any other poster who clamors to the idea of bipartisanship are forthwith when it comes to partisan behavior on the part of Democrats.

    Your assertion that I view other partisans as suffering from an affliction is undeserved. If you pay close attention to my method, I only call out on partisan behavior if and only if that person has made some type of plead for bipartisan cooperation. In fact generally speaking I am actually pointing out the real psychosis of “projection” (If one was awake for psych 101 you will know what this is). It sickens me when the likes of Charles Schumer starts carrying-on about “bipartisanship” as he is one of the most partisan senators there are.

    As two questions 2, The Bush administration has seen to it that I get to keep more of my own earnings while I am alive (this you will agree is a libertarian policy), and also be able to appropriately distribute my wealth in the way I see fit at the time of my demise (this you will also agree is a libertarian principal). We have also seen the Disaster Recovery Personal Protection bill that was crafted by the 109th congress and signed into law by Bush, This law makes it unlawful for Democrats to send law enforcement offices to knock down my door during a time tumult and disorder for no other reason than I own a firearm (this you will agree is a libertarian principle) I could go on and on, but I will cut to the chase and give you the two biggest things that Bush did to give you and I the libertarian lifestyle we long for: Roberts and Allito. Unlike the “liberals” of the Supreme Court who brought you the Kelo Decision, Roberts and Allito will do their best to preserve the original intent of the U.S. Constitution and not rely on “International Law” as did one of the “liberal” jurors has been known to do.

    I in no way stated that Clinton did the same thing. In fact my point was that Clinton actually rammed through appointees who did not have the support of the congress where as Democrats forced bush to make recess appointments of candidates who had the support of the Congress. Distinctly different situations.

    By Anonymous Arch Stanton, at 3:40 PM  

  • Arch,

    The reason I said that you are (once again) pigeon holing me as a Democrat is this quote of yours

    So you see, my qualm comes not from the partisan politics of elected Democrats but rather from people like yourself and others who post here that start blathering on about the spirit of bipartisan politics with little record of protesting the partisan nature of your own party. It is to those people I say: Live up to your word or modify your opinion.

    If you had read my article on the Dubai ports deal and cared to remember, you would see that I will lamblast the Democrats for engaging in what is purely partisan politics.

    When you talk about "your own party" you have thus pigeon-holed me.

    For clarity, because clearly you have misunderstood, my expectation for bi-partisanship is directed at both parties. With regards to Shumer et. al. these are (as usual) straw man arguments. You are tearing down arguments that I have never made. What Charles Schumer says and does has nothing to do with me. For what it is worth, I despise the man and have made that pretty clear in the past.

    You have lamblasted at least two of my readers here for being partisan as if they should be ashamed of it. Neither were making calls for bi-partisanship. (RBE and Elizabeth in case you are wondering).

    and also be able to appropriately distribute my wealth in the way I see fit at the time of my demise

    Arch, I didn't realize that you were part of the wealthies 2% of Americans. That is impressive.

    Contrary to what Bush would have you believe, you will not be taxed on your home if it passes to a relative (say your wife or your Son for example).

    Unless you have assets not including your primary residence that exceed $2,000,000 (and that is net assets meaning minus debt) the estate tax does not and would not effect you.

    On the Supreme Court nominations, all I can say is, let us see if they uphold your libertarian priciples. That will be interesting.

    If Bolton has the support of Congress, where are the 60 Senate Votes? And how exactly did Clinton ram through appointees without the support of Congress?

    Again, this doesn't answer my question. Saying the Democrats appoint partisans is not sufficient here. We are talking about a new spirit of bi-partisanship and I am looking for something, anything, from the president to indicate he is serious.

    For now, it is all just hot air.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 5:51 PM  

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