Sunday, November 12, 2006

Question Of The Week, 11/12/06

Good morning. I was just reading some of the morning after (Election Day) articles at CNSNews.com and decided to do something different this week. I'm getting my question ready early (11/8/06) and saving it as a draft. There is a lot of talk about change this morning.

RNC Chief Sees Three Lessons in GOP Losses
By Susan Jones
CNSNews.com Senior Editor
November 08, 2006

(CNSNews.com) - Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman called himself disappointed on a number of counts, following the Democratic victories in key House and Senate races.

"I think the American people clearly sent a message, and it's a message we need to understand and we need to listen to, and we as Republicans need to follow," Mehlman said Wednesday morning in a Fox News interview.

Mehlman said Republicans must now do three things - first and foremost, rededicating themselves to their "conservative, reform principles."

Second, he said Republicans must "try to work where we can on a bipartisan basis with Democrats," while maintaining conservative principles.

And finally, he said Republicans must lose the taint of corruption: "We need to remember, people who serve...at any level are people that ought to be about public policy and public service."

"If we can focus on those three things...ultimately we will be stronger and will be able to serve the public better and will have learned and grown from it."

Mehlman congratulated Rep. Nancy Pelosi, who "is about to make history" as the nation's first woman speaker. "That's something that all of us should appreciate and applaud her for," he said.

Mehlman said "there's no reason" why Republicans and Democrats can't work together on national security (the threat posed by "Islamic fascism") immigration reform and health care reform.

Pelosi, Dean, and Reid Hail 'New Direction'
By Susan Jones
CNSNews.com Senior Editor
November 08, 2006

(CNSNews.com) - Early Wednesday morning, soon-to-be House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called Election Day "a great victory" for the American people, not to mention Democrats, who -- at the very least -- will control the House of Representatives.

"[T]he American people voted for change, and they voted for Democrats to take our country in a New Direction," Pelosi said, invoking the Democrat's "New Direction" platform.

She said taking the country in a new direction "is exactly what we intend to do."

Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean, echoing Rep. Nancy Pelosi's "talking points," also issued a statement early Wednesday morning, saying the Ameican people, in giving Democrats a sizeable edge, "sent a clear message for a new direction."

Pelosi said Democrats would restore civility and bipartisanship in Washington, along with integrity and honesty. She said the Democrats "intend to lead the most honest, most open and most ethical Congress in history."

Pelosi said the American people, in giving the Democrats control of the House -- and possibly the Senate, depending on the final vote tally -- voted for a "fairer economy...where "all Americans participate in the prosperity of our great country."

Among other things, Democrats are expected to raise taxes on the people who make the most money and hike the minimum wage, a move that businesses say will put some of the lowest-paid employees out of jobs.

Most of all, Pelosi said, the American people made it clear "that we need a New Direction" in the war on Iraq.

"'Stay the course' has not made our country safer, has not honored our commitment to our troops, and has not made the region more stable. We cannot continue on this catastrophic path," Pelosi said.

Democrats want to "redeploy the troops," which Republicans describe as "cut and run," a victory for the terrorists who predicted the U.S. would not have staying power in Iraq.

Pelosi urged President Bush to work with Democrats "to find a solution to the war in Iraq."

"Democrats are ready to lead and prepared to govern," Pelosi said. "Tonight, the American people have entrusted us with their hopes and aspirations, for themselves, their families, and their future. We will honor that trust.

"Tonight we have made history; now let us make progress."

Dean: 'New Direction'

Dean said Americans had voted for "hope and opportunity" and rejected "the Republican culture of corruption and the politics of fear and smear."

"I want to congratulate all of our Democratic candidates who ran strong campaigns, worked hard, and offered the American people a clear choice and a strong vision for a new direction based on the priorities of the American people. The American voters also sent a message to Democrats that if we show up, work hard and ask for their vote, we can win in any part of the country."

Dean said the real work begins on Wednesday, as Democrats advance an "agenda that puts the American people first.

"Democrats are unified and ready to change the tone of politics in Washington to get things done for the American people," he said.

Dean promised that Democrats will "respect all Americans" and "value your beliefs and your families as we restore America to its position of moral leadership throughout the world.

"Together America will be stronger. Together we will move America in a new direction."

Dean plans to hold a post-election briefing on Wednesday morning in Washington.

'New Direction,' part three

In a statement released Wednesday morning, Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid also invoked the "new direction" mantra:

"The American people have spoken and they have demanded change. They want, they deserve and they are going to get a new direction -- at home and in Iraq," Reid said.

"Americans chose Democrats because we fought for the people and we fought for change. Now the Congress must honor that choice with a new beginning."

Reid said he's already reached out to Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and asked him to work with Democrats - "to move America forward."

"America needs change, and change starts in Iraq," Reid said. "The president must listen and work with Democrats to fix his failed policy. Americans have demanded a new direction. Democrats are ready to deliver."

'More About Republicans Losing Than Dems Winning'
By Susan Jones
CNSNews.com Senior Editor
November 08, 2006

(CNSNews.com) - While Democrats hailed their historic victory and promised to take America in a "New Direction," one conservative rejected the notion that Democrats had achieved a voter "mandate."

"I think a fairly good case can be made that the story of Election 2006 is more about poorly-led House Republicans losing than Democrats winning," said John Berthoud, president of the National Taxpayers Union.

Berthoud noted the long-time trend of the majority party losing congressional seats in Congress in the sixth year of a presidency. He also noted Republicans' considerable "baggage" going into the election -- the Foley, Ney and Abramoff scandals, to mention a few.

"Beyond these individual characters, the party often prostituted itself to corporate interests," Berthoud said, pointing to the Medicare reform bill and the energy and transportation bills.

"In the process of pleasing their corporate friends, the House Republicans lost their soul...and their base. The GOP went so overboard that they allowed the Democratic Party (complete captives of the teacher unions, trial lawyers, labor union bosses, etc.) to take the moral high ground on the issue of "being in the pocket of special interests." That takes some doing," he said.

Berthoud rejected the notion that the election had something to do with "liberalism triumphing over the ideals of limited government." He suggested that if more Republicans had stood up for a "reduction in government" while they had majority control of Congress, fewer of them might have lost the election.

'Lack of fiscal discipline

Rep. Jeff Flake, the Arizona Republican who easily won re-election on Tuesday, said there was a strong headwind for Republicans this year, but even so, Republicans didn't help themselves, either.

Flake called it unfortunate that the House of Representatives didn't "move the ball on immigration," aside from demanding an enforcement-only strategy -- without discussion what comes next.

In an interview with Fox News on Wednesday morning, Flake suggested that a border-enforcement-only approach is why Arizona Republican Rep. J.D. Hayworth and Arizona Republican congressional candidate Randy Graff lost their elections.

"The enforcement-only option just didn't play very well," he said.

Flake also said the Republicans' "ack of fiscal discipline" has finally caught up with them.

"The House has just engaged in runaway spending for far too long," he said. While some things were outside Republicans' control this year, "the one thing we could have stopped, but didn't, was runaway spending."

So this weeks Question Of The Week is. In your opinion, what changes (if any) can we expect to see, and when will we see them? I'll post my answer in the Comment Section Monday night.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

8 Comments:

Blogger Always On Watch said...

Maybe I'm being too cynical.... Most of the time the elected party says they will make changes, but when the time comes to make those changes, they don't happen--at least, not as "promised." Part of that lack of action is a reality check, and part of it is that politicians will say just about anything to get elected.

I do, however, expect to see a few changes or attempted changes, within six months of the newly elected having taken office but most changes closer to the 2008 elections:

1. Revision of the AMT (alternative minimum tax) so as to raise the limit excluded from the AMT

2. Raising the minimum wage

The above two have support, across party lines and should pass quickly. Also quick passage will give the newly elected something to crow about.

3. A guest-worker plan for immigrants.

4. A path-to-citizenship plan for illegal immigrants.

5. An amnesty plan for illegal immigrants.

6. Defunding of the wall supposed to be built at the border.

President Bush's ideas as to immigration reform are more in line with the liberals, anyway.

7. Cut-backs on the War in Iraq.

The President will veto a plan which doesn't meet his vision, but Congress may have enough votes to override that veto.

Whether or not it's true, the recent election-results are seen as a vote of no confidence for the present strategy in Iraq.

8. Further investigation of Abramhoff and his cohorts.

9. Possible change in Secretary of State.

10. Challenges to the Patriot Act, unless intelligence data or another attack scares the committee members.

11. A push by Conyers and Kennedy to define hate crime as applying to any criticism of Islam.

11:19 AM  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

Related to Number 11 above, here is an article about Conyers. Excerpt:

Expect Conyers and Pelosi to kick open the doors of Congress to Islamists from the Council on American-Islamic Relations and other militant groups. They will have unfettered access, even though many of their leaders have been tied to terrorism (some CAIR officials have landed in the big house).

12:14 PM  
Blogger Praguetwin said...

Tough question.

I think you will see a minimum wage increase. I think you will see a roll back of the tax break for people making over $250,000 yearly. I think you will see further tax relief for the middle class, but unfortunately that will come in the form of credits that will further complicate the tax system.

I think you will see a drawdown of troops in Iraq. There will probably be less than 100,000 by the next election.

I think you will see some investigations. Glorious, glorious investigations that will drudge up dirt and land corrupt politicians in jail..... at least I hope.

I agree with AOW that we will see portions of the Patriot Act repealed. Those will probably be centered around warrantless wiretapping and protecting of personal information.

Only time will tell.

12:33 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

"11. A push by Conyers and Kennedy to define hate crime as applying to any criticism of Islam."

that's ridiculous.

As for Pelosi supporting Islamists---it's well known that Pelosi is very friendly with Israel's lobbying arm in the U.S., AIPAC.

What have the two of you been smoking?

3:24 PM  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

Elizabeth,
You might want to read this and this. Also, read House Resolution 288, sponsored by Conyers and from his own web site.

David,
From today's Washington Times:

The two top Senate Democrats on foreign policy yesterday said they will introduce a resolution in January calling for troops to start being withdrawn from Iraq by this summer, a move that Sen. John McCain said would put the U.S. in the worst of both worlds.

Sen. Carl Levin, Michigan Democrat in line to lead the Senate Armed Services Committee, said his party's election victory last week vindicates calls for a change of strategy in Iraq and said withdrawals would need to start this year, despite White House opposition to any timetables, a stance it also reiterated on yesterday's political shows.

"The people spoke dramatically, overwhelmingly, resoundingly, to change the course in Iraq," he said during an appearance on ABC's "This Week." The Senate's "first order of business is to change the direction of Iraq policy."

"We need to begin a phased redeployment of forces from Iraq in four to six months, to begin that redeployment," he said. "We have to tell Iraqis that the open-ended commitment is over."

On the other hand, Mr. McCain said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that the U.S. troop presence in Iraq would need to be increased to achieve victory and said he would favor a total withdrawal if that didn't happen.

"I believe that there are a lot of things that we can do to salvage this, but they all require the presence of additional troops," he said.

Moderator Tim Russert said: "It sounds as if McCain is saying, 'Either send more troops in, secure the country and win, or make the decision and get out.' "

"I think that that's pretty much my position," said the Arizona Republican...

7:54 AM  
Blogger American Crusader said...

I stated this before at several other blogs.
Republicans need to return to their core values:
fiscal responsibility..including a balanced budget and lower taxes.
smaller government..including less government intrusion
a strong modern military to meet our national defense requirements.

12:10 PM  
Blogger David Schantz said...

I want to thank you all for stopping by to answer this weeks question. I'm tired and late, it's now 2:01 AM, 11/14/06. A family emergency had me out of town until about an hour ago. Missouri voters passed a ballot issue (on 11/7/06) that raised the state minimum wage from $5.15 to $6.50 per hour. I don't know if that puts us ahead of or behind the rest of the country.What changes can we expect to see? I think we're going to see more environmental protection laws passed. Please don't get me wrong, I know we must protect our environment, I work in the Environmental Department of a leather processing plant. I'am afraid some of the new laws will be to much of a bourdon for some businesses, they will close their doors, or move off shore. That tax break that so many felt only helped the rich will be taken back. That could end up costing us some jobs too. An amnesy and guest worker program will soon be in place and those National Guardsmen that have been helping our Border Patrol will all be going home. The next Assault Weapons Ban will take in even more firearms than the lat one did, that old pump shot gun that Grandpa left you in his will could be included. We will see some of our troops that have been involved in the Bush War On Terrorism start coming home, but I don't think we'll ever see the day that there are no United States troops in Iraq. Do you get the feeling that I'm not real happy with the outcome of the election? I'm OK with it, change is good. Change is what keeps this country alive. In a couple of years the voters will be up in arms and ready for a change. Maybe they will be ready to get behind some Third Party or Independent candidates. That would be the change that would make me truly happy.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

1:20 AM  
Blogger Gun-Toting Liberal said...

A little late to the party, but I agree with David when it comes to the birth of a viable third party. We'll see more corruption, this time, "Dem style", but just more of the same in those regards. People will soon come to see that the death of the GOP and the DNC is the only cure to the nation's ills and will hopefully answer by voting for other parties within the next decade. One can always dream...

9:37 AM  

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