Sense from Seattle

Common sense thoughts on life and current affairs by a Seattle area sexagenarian, drawing on personal experience, years of learning as a counselor to thousands of families and an innate passion for informed knowledge, to uniquely express sensible, thoughtful, honest and independent views.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Who Is to Blame?

The catastrophe known as the Bush administration will continue until the new President and Congress take over in January, 2009. The US Senate does not have the numbers to force anything significant, unless 9 of the 49 Republicans join their votes with the 49 Democrats and 2 Independents.

In the 2004 Presidential election, 31 States enabled Bush to continue his disastrous regime. Only the Northeast, West Coast, Hawaii and parts of the upper Midwest voted to dump him. By the 2006 election, it was clear that change was needed and 6 Republican Senators were dumped, in PA, VA, MT, RI, MO and OH. But 9 Senate seats stayed in Republican hands in the 2006 election, AZ, NV, UT, WY, TX, MS, IN, ME, all re-elected incumbents, and TN replaced the retiring Frist with Republican Corker. Maine is the only one of the 9 States that voted to dump Bush in 2004. So here is my list of who is to blame, in reverse order, for the continuation of the degradation of America:

10. Voters in the 31 Bush States who voted for 3rd party candidates in the 2004 Presidential election.
9. Voters in the 9 States where Republicans held a Senate seat who voted for 3rd party candidates in the 2006 election.
8. Those who fall into both categories 10 and 9.
7. Non-voters in elections in the 9 States where Republicans held a Senate seat in 2006.
6. Non-voters in the elections in the 31 States that went for Bush in 2004.
5. Those who fall into both categories 7 and 6.
4. Voters in CT who returned Lieberman to the Senate in 2006, rather than voting for the Democrat.
3. Voters who voted for a Republican in the 9 States where Republicans held a Senate seat in 2006.
2. Voters who voted for Bush in the 31 States he was awarded in 2004.
And the people most to blame,
1. Voters in AZ, NV, UT, WY, TX, MS, IN and TN, who voted for Bush in 2004 and a Republican for the Senate in 2006.

The above list does not blame those who voted for Democrats. But what of one prominent Democrat who was re-elected to the Senate after voting to authorize Bush to use force in Iraq? Hillary Clinton has her pat answer when she is asked to explain that vote, saying she did not expect Bush would abuse the power. What I would like to ask her is why she did not heed the warning of the prominent Democrats in the Senate who voted against the force authorization. Their reasons for voting no, previously posted here at Sense, showed their foresight, wisdom and courage.

The yes vote of Hillary still causes me to question the motives behind it. I know she is smart enough to see what those who voted no saw, but I think she calculated she had to vote yes in order to keep her Presidential aspirations alive, particularly if somehow Iraq did manage to turn out well. Obviously she would be in better shape on this issue now if she had voted against the authorization. There was also a sort of middle ground. She could have paid respect to the professed views of the naysaying Senators, said it was a very close call for her and that she was reluctantly voting for the authorization and hoping that Bush would rise to the occasion and do the right thing - sort of what she is now saying.

Obama has the advantage of saying he was opposed to the War, without having the burden of actually having been in the Senate at the time of the vote. Edwards has taken a principled position, admitting his vote was wrong, but the fact he did something he now admits was wrong causes concern over his judgment. As to blame for the Iraq fiasco, because they both voted for the authorization, Clinton and Edwards should be put in the equivalent of category 2 above.

But the blame discussed above is of the enabling variety. The personal blame still falls squarely on the Bush administration in general and on “the decider”. George W. Bush, in particular.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom, good analysis. I know you were concentrating on Democrats. A few months ago I would have said you are barking up the wrong tree because the Democratic Party is dead. Now I think it is revived, but not because of anything the Democrats have done. Bush has revived it. That a bumbling Republican was required to revive the Democratic Party makes me think the revival is probably a last gasp. In the interim, the Democrats may continue to make a difference. Let's hope so.

The Bush debacle has also killed the chances of John McCain. The flip side of Hillary's blunder in supporting Bush's war is McCain's attempt to win the support of the Republican Party's right wing. What a fiasco! What an irony! The erstwhile front runners of both parties destroyed by their support of the imbecile Bush, now a discredited politician.
John from Phoenix

8:38 PM  
Blogger Tom Blake said...

The Republican Party has been on a 40 year recruiting campaign for white votes as a continuing reaction against the ongoing attempt of the Democratic Party to bring African Americans into the mainstream of the American dream. The civil rights laws and LBJ Great Society programs started the reaction. The only Presidents the Democrats have put in office since LBJ were southerners who were more like moderate Republicans.

We may now be seeing the start of a long term reaction against Republican incompetence and dishonesty. It was obvious even before the 2000 election that Bush is an incompetent, yet Republican strategists packaged him to appeal to reactionary voters and figured the neo-cons led by Cheney would actually run the show for him. But the problem is that the neo-cons are as incompetent as Bush - plus being dishonest in every way. Two out of three Americans now see this and are ready to elect any Democrat as President. If somehow the Democrats can also win those nine more Senate seats, then they could adopt their agenda without Republican obstruction and show America a New Way [my suggestion for the Democratic campaign slogan].

As President during the Vietnam War, a conflict he inherited rather than started, LBJ encountered his greatest Congressional opposition from his own party. Democrats had the integrity to oppose the War even though their own man was commander-in-chief. In this Iraq mess, Congressional Republicans, with the exception of Chuck Hagel, have not had the integrity to oppose Bush.

As for John McCain, he never had a chance. Most people see him as too eccentric to be President.

9:32 AM  

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