Just when I thought I could put the recently completed political season behind me with a minimum of annoyance, the two major political parties decided to go that one step too far. And now I’m not feeling quite so charitable towards them.
Let’s start with the Republicans. You lost. No matter how much spin you try to put on it, you lost. And I, quite frankly, am getting a major headache listening to talking heads trying to twist this around into a scenario in which it looks like you lost but not really.
From what I can glean from the insanity before my heads starts exploding, President Bush lost, Rumsfeld lost, the House and Senate were lost but the Republicans didn’t lose because the Democrats who were elected were much more like Republicans than true Democrats. So ultimately, this reasoning concludes, the Republicans won. Sorta.
Let me repeat again. You lost. You lost for a number of reasons. People were tired of the lies about progress in what looks like a war we can’t win. If this isn’t Vietnam redux, it’s enough like it to make a generation shaped by Vietnam very nervous. You lost because President Bush insisted till the day after the votes were tallied that he stood by the Rumsfeld doctrine that led us to Iraq and that he stood by Rumsfeld.
By the way, am I the only person who thought it was really classy of our president to dump the guy the very next day? Nothing like giving a true and faithful servant a graceful exit.
The Democrats should also take a deep breath, grab hold of their egos and accept that no one either in their party or on their payroll as a consultant constructed a winning strategy for these midterm elections. The Democrats did not win. The Republicans lost. The Democrats just happened to be the people standing next to the Republicans in line at the public trough.
Maybe I wasn’t paying enough attention but I must say I did not hear a coherent program or policy from the Democrats the entire campaign season. I mostly had the impression that they were standing in the shadows trying to not explode with glee at each buffoonish misstep made by Republicans from the president’s refusal to admit that maybe, just maybe, Rumsfeld needed to go, to the mind numbing number of improprieties committed by the so called party of morality.
I believe this is exactly why the phrase, “People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones” was created. If you are going to run on a platform of morality and sanctimony, then you better be darn sure that everyone in your tent is beyond reproach.
The talking heads and pundits keep dithering about a divided and polarized America. They are wrong. The largest part of the American public lives solidly in the middle and agrees to one degree or another on the things that are most important. They are the things that affect our daily lives.
Believe it or not, that isn’t gay marriage and it isn’t whether God is mentioned in the Pledge of Allegiance. It’s whether you’ll be able to afford health care for your family. It’s whether your mom and dad will be able to pay for the medicine they need as they age. It’s whether there will be a safe, clean world for our children.
It is only the fringes of both parties that fight the morality battles over gay rights and prayer in school. Most people who pray find ample time to do so with their families outside of work and school. Most gays lead quiet, productive lives without threatening anyone’s marriage or sexual preferences. Most people live in the middle and it was the middle that spoke in this last election.
So to the Republicans, get over it. You lost and no amount of tortured logic will change that. To the Democrats, get over it. You may now be the majority but it is only minimally through your own efforts that you got there. In fact, you should probably count Republican contributions to your victory on your tax returns this year.
Now can we just get on with the holiday season and put this madness behind us? Pass the cranberry sauce please.