Friday, January 05, 2007

And It Begins

So, in case you missed the news, Democrats now officially are the majority in the United States House of Representatives, led by the first ever Madame Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi of California.

And, with that, according to right wing talk raido, the end of the world is neigh.

So I waited a day to write about it, just to be sure.

Now, we've heard about the "Democratic Takeover" (as if the Democratic Party pulled this off like Bastille Day instead of Tuesday) every single day since November. We had to hear about the 'terrible divisions' that didn't really exist when the election of Majority leader came about. We've had to hear about the political ramifications of a guy from Dakota suffering a stroke, when we should have been worried about the man's health. We've had to hear all about the "Mean Girls" chairmanship of the Intelligence Committee. We even had to hear from a certain Georgia Republican about how Demcorats, when scheduling the next two years, 'didn't care about families' because they thought some well off folks might need to work four day weeks for a bit. And, to be honest, even I got into the act when Rumsfeld and Bolton got gone-d. (Though I would have been cheering their departure even if Republicans had did it...)

Matter of fact, I don't know if I've ever heard the media get so very high school yearbook-y with any transfer of political office. All I remember hearing about in 1994 was that Newt was using a different gavel, the media didn't seem to care what color curtains he was gonna have his office decorated with (though now that I think about it, Bravo! could get a great makeover show out of this).

And now, hearing about the pomp and circumstance of the swearing in ceremonies, I'm frankly getting a little tired of it. Yeah, I know we have to have the fame and accolades that come with being the first-to-do-something dance that we do in this country, and hear, hear, yay and all that.

I'm cool with it, y'know, because these cats have only officially been on the job for about 48 hours at this point, and Hail to the Victors is OK when you pull off an upset of any kind. And even then, I know that us hearing about most of this is because the tabloidification of the national news media that has been going on for some time now.

But the new guys are letting the media run with it, and that's how they're being portrayed to the national voting population. Double edged sword and all that.

I do know this, Democrats better knock this next 100 days out of the park...




But even if they don't, it wasn't the end of the world. And for that, we can all be thankful.

3 comments:

Dante said...

"[PARTY] takeover" was used extensively both in 1994 and in 2006. Nothing new to see here. I'm pretty sure I use the same vernacular. I think it's more a corporate takeover kind of context.

"We had to hear about the 'terrible divisions' that didn't really exist when the election of Majority leader came about."

If anyone is touting divisions over this it's you. "Intraparty warfare" comes to mind.

"Matter of fact, I don't know if I've ever heard the media get so very high school yearbook-y with any transfer of political office."

Then somebody doesn't remember the Ron Silver "those are our planes now", Clinton is a baby-boomer, or Clinton plays the sax on late night TV stories that were plastered everywhere folling Clinton's election.

"Hail to the Victors is OK when you pull off an upset of any kind."

Excatly. When you win, take full advantage. No telling how long you have to get things done. The people might not have elected you over points X and Y but if those points are part of your party's goals, pass them. Don't cower in fear. At worst case, those other issues will get you tossed out of office but if that's the case then the people aren't buying what you're selling anyways.

Rubbing it in is indeed a two-way street but that just jacks up the pressure to get things done. World-ending scenarios aside, I still think there's going to be plenty of room for "I told you so"s involving Democrats in power and the agenda they push. If Republicans can get those out there without seeming whiny about it, then they'll have a good shot at being a powerful minority. If not, then they'll be as powerless as Democrats were since Setp 12, 2001.

Patrick Armstrong said...

Well, the whole 'intraparty warfare' post was a knock at those who were making the mountains out of proceedural molehills, I don't remember the Ron Silver comment (at all, strangely, what was it?), and Clinton playing the saxophone was a stroke of political genius that, I think, got him elected by breaking the mold of traditional politician's stuffiness.

I just see a significant difference this time than from the last time. (But I must concede the point concerning the 1994 takeover, which, upon further review was dubbed the "Republican Revolution" despite its more Libertarian qualities).

Anonymous said...

I remember the Ron Silver comments. I found them childish and embarassing to our country.

It would be nice it the Dems did something productive in the next 2 years but I see little sign of it so far. Maybe they can investigate Bush's ethnic cleansing of Louisana as Barney Frank claims. Patrick, you live there now, have you seen evidence of this?

I just see two more years of the same old crap, partisan bickering, accusations, etc. while the vast majority of the country are ignored.