The Democratic majority in Congress failed to make any meaningful change in Iraq War II. Sans the spine to cut off funding they lost a chicken game with the loathed and despicable Generalissimo Bush. We’re stuck with his war until a real President steps in.
The Dems also failed to make any paradigm alteration in federal budgeting and domestic policy. An increase in the minimum wage surely is plenty helpful to many, but most of the Dems’ changes were “side dishes”. We’re still eating the Conservatron turkey, even though almost no one wants to anymore. Any earnest attempt to address global warming, the foreclosure crisis and any number of small and medium sized disasters will also have to wait for a real President.
Because I live far from Iowa and New Hampshire the process of processing this real President seems to be taking place on another planet. The major Democrats have few fundamental policy differences. Their platitudes are nifty, but meaningless without any explanation of how they would try to realize their vision. I believe they have done this for scores of Iowans and New Hampshirites, but I honestly do not care what Iowans or Hampshironians think. There are nationally important problems nestled in my corner of the country too. Until I hear the candidates address these in some way, or at least see them try to tailor their platitudes to people like me and other folks not at all like me who also happen to not live in Iowa and New Hampshire, I am undecided. No one has tried to win my vote.
Having an inert political process incapable of addressing slow disasters like Iraq, global warming, and housing foreclosures for 18 months is a luxury this country can no longer afford. Having a stubborn adherent to a discredited pseudo-intellectual foreign policy maintain the rudder of power for the same period could be cataclysmic. Watching today’s scenes of unrest in Pakistan following Bhutto’s assassination conjured up the phrase on a bumper sticker I recently saw around town: I Never Thought I’d Miss Nixon.
Our best hopes for waiting out the Not So Great Lull is that no one “wins” Iowa or New Hampshire. If the major candidates are more or less tied following divisional play perhaps their attempts to appeal to the remaining 99.99% of the population will reveal what sort of President they are likely to be.