cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
You would be safe to assume that I spend a lot of time watching the goings on in our nations capitol. Many of you probably do so as well. The passing of one Administration and the beginnings of a new Administration provide much of interest. There are always those who scream for retribution by the new against the old. That seldom happens, although there are exceptions.
The change that we are watching today is an exceptional change in that the election provided one party, the Democrats, with all the levers of power. Our founding fathers were careful, even in this eventuality, to provide what we call 'checks and balances' knowing that branches even of the same political persuasion would jealously guard their own turf. We ought be thankful for that foresight since we are in the midst of several 'sea change' events simultaneously.
The rush to pass climate change legislation (cap and tax or cap and trade as you prefer) appears to have died, at least for the current Congress' term. The health care reform effort is in full voice and appears to be headed toward the passage of something, but few would venture a guess as to what that 'something' is likely to be at the moment. The 'reform' of our nation's financial system is front and center, as is the trial of terrorists that is now set to occur in New York City. There are more initiatives in the wings in case any need is felt for even more major issues to be worked during this Congress.
There are some, to me at least, obvious take aways from the watching. The mainstream media is feeling vindicated with the sweeping victories on the Democrat front. The Democrat leadership is not at all bashful about using the newfound power as rapidly and decisively as is possible. The states with Democrat majorities, such as Wisconsin, are also getting into the 'rush to passage' action.
Some thoughts come to mind:
There is pent-up demand aplenty for the Democrats who view this as a once or twice in a lifetime blessing of riches. The Republicans seem surprisingly well-knit so far in their opposition to the Democrat wish list. Remember that the Republicans are not able to "block" anything even though that party is accused of doing so.
The Democrats also remember that the citizenry of our country do not much like having all their political eggs in one basket. The likelihood that Republicans will gain seats in Congress is showing itself so far in polling numbers. The Democrats are simultaneously stimulated to get as much as possible passed before the 2010 election, and they may well be sealing the deal so far as the level of change that occurs in the fall of 2010 by over-reaching, as some would say.
This is not to say that Republicans would not also be acting similarly were the tables turned, but the Democrats are stooping to lows in the manner in which they're choosing to use their power. As I've stated earlier, the best way today to gauge the substance of a bill is to look at its title and then presume it will do the opposite.
People who only fleetingly watch national or state politics are being made to believe one thing while the politicians do another.
The health care reform activity is a not-very-well camouflaged effort to wrest more and more control from the people and to vest it in the ruling elite. The stated goals of covering everyone (not going to happen) and to lower the cost increase curve (not going to happen) and to not have more people covered in government-controlled plans (not going to happen) are rubbish. The actual intent, as is being shown daily now, is to get most of us into the position of being beholden to our government for our health care.
The fact that people are finally questioning the whole global warming, no let's call it climate change now, debacle is falling on deaf ears. The Democrats have long favored such laws so as to further control the populace, and, by golly, they're going to get it come heck or high water...or so it would seem. The Obama Administration's EPA publishes new rules a few days prior to the meeting in Copenhagen convening; what a coincidence that is. The rules bypass Congress; what a coincidence that is. The TARP funds have us in the automobile and banking and insurance businesses now; what a coincidence that is. The ethanol industry flourishes on our tax dollars even though the science behind that is faulty, and even though we could be drilling and pumping much more oil than we've been permitted to do, and we could be building more refineries if regulations weren't quite so daunting. We could be working to expand our atomic power plant generating capability instead of closing such facilities without replacements set to come on-line.
Washington watching is not for the weak of heart. Madison watching is in a close second for us Badger staters.