After the fall

Burt Prelutsky
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Posted: Nov 17, 2006 12:01 AM
After the fall

As days of infamy go, November 7th, 2006, wasn’t as bad as December 7th, 1941, but it was pretty darn awful if you were a Conservative. There are those who claim that people get the government they deserve. In countries such as Iran, Syria and North Korea, that might be the case. The trouble in a democracy, or a republic, if you insist, is that all of us wind up with the government that only some of us deserve.

Still, I can’t help but hope that some good will come of it. While I don’t relish the idea of Democrats making laws, conducting witch hunts, overseeing judicial appointments, and determining America’s foreign policy, for the next two years, maybe the Republicans can take advantage of this opportunity to learn how to ride roughshod over the opposition. As the election proved, I’m not the only Conservative who got sick and tired of Bush and his cohorts trying to play nice with the liberals for these past half dozen years. Pelosi, Reid, Kennedy, Kerry, Obama, Rangel, and the rest of the left-wing rabble will work these clucks over with blackjacks, and -- who knows? -- by 2008, the Republicans, if they survive, may finally learn how to wage battle in a back alley.

One thing politicians, whatever their party, should have learned by now is that their sins will inevitably come to light. Sometimes, I wonder if politicians are really as stupid as they seem or are they simply child-like in their naivety. The problem, I suspect, is that politicians become as complacent as cows because they exist in such well-tended cocoons. I mean, if everyone you came into contact with on a daily basis was a lobbyist looking to curry favor, a staff member looking to get a raise or a constituent looking to donate money to your campaign, you could easily get the idea that if you’re not exactly God, you’re certainly god-like. As a result, they lose sight of the fact that there are a lot of people -- those in the opposition party and, worse yet, those in the headline-hunting media -- who are out gunning for them.

So, while many people want to lay the blame for the election day debacle entirely at the feet of the president, Donald Rumsfeld and Karl Rove, they shouldn’t overlook the part played by such fellows as Tom DeLay, Mark Foley and Duke Cunningham, in making the Republican party smell like an open sewer.

It’s probably not fair that when Democrats such as Bill Clinton, Barney Frank, Marion Berry, William Jefferson, Jesse Jackson, Gerry Studds and Al Sharpton, commit even worse transgressions, they’re let off with a slap on the wrist. But that’s because Republican voters tend to have principles, and are therefore less forgiving, whereas Democrats have only political agendas.

I suspect that a large number of my fellow Conservatives carried out their threat to stay home on election day in order to convey their displeasure with Republican leadership. While I understood and shared their frustration, I thought it was a foolhardy thing to do. It struck me as being as irresponsible as teaching a toddler not to play with sharp things by filling his crib with knives and nails. Liberals, after all, can do a great deal of damage in two years. Which is why I suspect that, on November 8th, millions of Conservatives woke up, much like drunks awaking after a binge, rubbed their eyes and said, “I did what?!”

The only real upside to the election that I can see is that two years of Nancy Pelosi’s shrill voice and arrogant personality could serve as a fair warning of what four years of Hillary would be like.

Prior to the election, the thing that kept confounding me was all the talk suggesting that the media’s reporting early returns in the East might have an effect on voter turn-out here in the West. Was I the only person who was aware that we weren’t electing a president? Did anybody really think that we westerners might stay home and not bother voting for a senator, a governor and scores of congressmen, just because the polls had closed in New York and Massachusetts?!

If I came away with any final thought, it’s that the electorate clearly has no problem voting for clowns, but as they showed in Montana and Virginia, where they failed to elect Burns and Allen, they draw the line at professionals.