Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Congratulations to my American friends for not just voting, but for voting for democracy, peace, human rights and social justice. Even though the president wasn't on the ballot yesterday, and regardless of what the GOP spin machine says, this election result is nothing less than a repudiation of the policies of the Bush Whitehouse. President Bush is now officially a lame duck.

He'd better not go hunting with Dick Chenney.

I seriously doubt anyone in the United States Congress or the public has an appetite to impeach Bush, and looking foward to 2008, that would be a strategic mistake for democrates. But with control of the legislative agenda and all of the House committees (and possibly Senate too), I hope the Democrates use their new majority and power of subpena to shine a light into some very dark places over the next 2 years because let's face it, as much as the President is a lame duck, Congress is now offically grid locked. With the Democrates lacking a veto proof majority, and with a distinctly different legislative agenda than the President, nothing else is going to get done in Congress for the next 2 years.

In addition to investigating some of the abuses of exucutive power, another thing the Democrates can do is use their control over the legislative agenda to frame the terms of debate for 2008. Obviously, Iraq was front and centre in voters mind yesterday, but beyond Iraq, where do American's priorities lie? What is more pressing on the social agenda in America - banning gay marriage as Virginia voters did yesterday, or making real progress on alleviating poverty? On healthcare, should Congress invest its invest its political capital in extending healthcare coverage to the 40+ million Americans who are uninsured, or continue to ban embryonic stem cell research? Yesterday Missouri voters moved cautiously to allow embryonic stem cell research. Thanks Michael J. Fox for "faking it". Should corporate greed continue to drive the agenda? Why else would the last Congress have prevented the Vetran's Administration from pooling its purchasing power to negotiate lower prices on prescription drugs for vetrans. These are the questions that a new Democrate driven Congress can put on the public agenda and dare the President to veto.

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