This is a post aimed at my fellow Republicans and/or conservatives and/or conservatarians. (God forgive me for using that word.) You patchouli-reeking socialists are welcome to read and comment, but the intended audience is my brethren of the GOP voting universe – and mostly those of the elected persuasion (and not a few of the recently unelected persuasion).
For my friends and readers of delicate disposition, please be advised that I shall attempt to restrain the worst things that I feel like saying, but I can make no guarantees as to the family friendliness of the language.
We just got our ass kicked and everybody damn well knows the reason why.
The political machine performed brilliantly. As in previous elections, it delivered 98% of what was needed to be delivered in order to win – leaving it to the operational side of the house to come up with the last 2%. That 2% is what the Congressmen and women and the executive branch and (to a much milder extent) the judicial system has to win on merit – on being able to credibly say “look at the solid achievements and real progress on important issues we have made”.
Some of them have tried, and a few have tried like heroes. I’m not going to name names, it’s pointless. The ones who are trying to get things done know who they are, and so does everyone else.
The Iraq war is a disaster. Not irretrievably so militarily or strategically, where we are surviving a war of attrition in what is essentially a test of political will, but politically – where the rationales and strategies and realistic prospects for the war have not been described to the American people. This is a failure squarely to be laid at the door of the White House and its communication machine. This country took on a military machine nearly as far away and a lot deadlier than the massed forces of the entire Arab world, and had it explained over those newfangled “radios”. Do you really think their Internet-enabled children and grandchildren can’t handle the real story of the war on radicalized Islam? Of course they can – but 90% of them are not going to take enough courses in medieval mideastern history to put the picture together on their own. It has to be explained, and people given the information they need to be informed.
The ethical emanation coming from the Congress is putrid. It’s on a bipartisan basis, but scrappy underdogs get forgiven for their colorful escapades. People who are allegedly governing don’t.
This Congress’ performance on other issues has been at best uninspired. No decisive action to take control of the nation’s borders. No resolution reached of the knotty questions surrounding immigration policy. No progress on fixing Social Security. A trainwreck prescription drugs bill hated by everyone. Bloated pork bills designed to curry favor with every special interest group in America – how well did that one work out for you, fellows? Currying favor with us religious elements on trivial crap, and blowing us off or dropping the ball on big picture questions. The list goes on.
Damn it all, this has to stop.
We are not electing you people to go to Washington and get rich in sweetheart deals. We are not electing you people because we saw your picture and said “this guy should get invited to every cocktail party in the Beltway”. We send you to our nation’s capital – a place where American soldiers have seen battle and shed blood – in order that you can govern this nation. But most of you don’t even govern yourselves.
Here is a refresher course. Here are the things that you are expected to do.
1. Secure our borders and coastal areas against casual violation, and formulate an immigration policy that is decent, humane, and survivable.
2. Fix Social Security so that it continues to work sustainably, without breaking it (hint: reasonably regulated markets). Reform the financial governance and fiscal prudence of our Government’s accounting practices.
3. Victory in Iraq. (Like pornography, we’ll know it when we see it.)
4. Fix the health care system of this country so that people who cannot get the care they truly need are helped, without bankrupting the rest of us. Hint: reasonably regulated markets.
5. Progress in the war on terror.
Here’s a suggestion for Congressional figures, and those who would so aspire: When you plan to do something, ask “does this help with any of one through five on Bob’s list of demands?” If the answer is “no”, then don’t do it. If you’re thinking “you know, I really need to start having relationships with teenagers…I wonder who’s on Yahoo Chat tonight”, then ask yourself “have we won in Iraq, fixed Social Security, saved the health care system, made progress in the war on terror, AND secured the borders?” If the answer is “no”, then I suggest that you put down the IM client and get your ass back to work.
You guys (and too few gals) have let down the team. You have two years to turn it around, get yourselves in some kind of order, and get serious about the business of this country.
Either get your shit together, or start looking for a new line of work in 2008.