Thursday, January 04, 2007

Democrats Take Control; Bush Games Continue

Nancy Pelosi became House Speaker today with the swing towards the Democrats as a result of the November election. Difficult times are still ahead because of Bush's radical right wing agenda has not abated despite the call by voters for change. Bush still has the veto and an itch for the spotlight despite his long series of blunders.

But let's hope the Democrats can get some real work done after six years of Republican do-nothingism. For an outside perspective, here's the story from the British newspaper, The Guardian:
A new era was proclaimed in Washington today as the Democratic party recaptured control of both houses of Congress after 12 years on the sidelines of power.

"The Democrats are back," exulted Nancy Pelosi, who went on to make history this afternoon when she was sworn in as the first woman to become speaker of the House of Representatives.


Amid the celebratory mood among Democrats today, the official message from Ms Pelosi as well as the new Democratic Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, was about cooperation with their Republican opponents. But the limits of bipartisanship were made starkly apparent when Ms Pelosi signalled that George Bush, who had a Republican House and Senate in his first six years in the White House, would face new and energised opposition.

"Nowhere were the American people more clear about the need for a new direction than in Iraq. The American people rejected an open-ended obligation to a war without end," Ms Pelosi said.

When it makes sense, the Democrats will work with Bush in a bipartisan manner but he has little interest in listening to the Democrats despite the will of the voters. In the current environment therefore, it is the job of the opposition to oppose. More important, it's the job of Congress to take its place as a co-equal branch of government, fulfilling its role in the checks and balances that a true democracy must have if it is to remain healthy and strong. Republicans in the last six years were too anxious to give Bush a free pass and they often neglected their responsibilities to the American people.

Bush's reckless incompetence remains intact and his love of politics continues to do harm to our nation. Instead of dealing with the reality of Iraq, Bush today is firing the generals he so lavishly praised not long ago; Raw Story has the details:

In what appears to be a military shakeup surrounding Iraq, President Bush has replaced both the top US general in the Middle East and the top General in Iraq, ABC NEWS is reporting on air.

Admiral William J. Fallon will replace Gen. John Abizaid, US commander in the Middle East... ...


According to a Kansas City Star article published Dec. 24, "Commanders have been skeptical of the value of increasing troops. The decision represents a reversal for Casey, the highest-ranking officer in Iraq. Casey and Gen. John P. Abizaid, the top commander in the Middle East, have long resisted adding troops in Iraq,

David Petraeus will replace General George Casey, commander of US forces in Iraq. Casey originally opposed the President's plan to add troops in Iraq, arguing it could delay "the development of Iraqi security forces and increase anger at the United States in the Arab world."

Apparently, George W. Bush still thinks he knows what he's doing despite the judgment of the report released by the Iraq Study Group. Except when it comes to playing political games, there is no evidence to date that Bush knows what he's doing. For now, the fiasco continues.

The new Congress should do everything it can to get the president to explain himself. Near the end of the month, Bush will be giving his State of the Union address to Congress; it will also be the job of Congress to make sure the president isn't simply handing them a work of fiction.

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