Sunday, October 29, 2006

Democracy, Thy Name is Chaos!

Oh what a runup to the mid-terms it has been. You have liberals potraying Bush as the devil, and conservatives potraying Nancy Pelosi as ... the devil! You have liberals embracing a Reagan Republican in Jim Webb and a self-proclaimed "Jesus-loving gun-carrying" congressman in Harold Ford, Jr and the conservatives embracing a stem-cell bill they voted against! It's an anything goes environment, where Republicans point out correctly that for all his Jesus antics, Ford is on the guest list at the Playboy mansion, while also fudge the truth by running an ad claiming that a Democrat used taxpayer money to dial a phone-sex line, while it has been proven that it was an accidental misdial. And then in my own state, Jim Webb, whose writings range from the completely acceptable Sidney Sheldon-esque sexual content, to the much more disturbing writings involving dads and sons, and moms and sons in sexual encounters. But due Republicans have a limb to stand on, given that Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, "Scooter" Libby is himself the purveyor of sexual literature, including pedophilia?

In all this chaos, the one thing that rarely gets talked about are the issues. A discussion of the issues would correctly criticize the current administration for botching the war in Iraq, but would also question the specifics of what the Democrats would do. It would involve a discussion of what each party intends to do about entitlements, which is the single largest financial threat that threatens the US (see footnote). It would challenge each party for a pragmatic energy policy, or a plan to control skyrocketing healthcare costs ... economic policy, including taxes, minimum wages, ... oh, I could go on, but none of these issues are ever discussed. Democracy is supposed to be the people electing their representatives to implement their agendas. Funny, looking at our elections, I could be fooled.

Footnote: How serious a crisis entitlement spending is depends on how much of a commitment you think it is. Those who chose to play it down point to the fact that it isn't a contractual requirement, and if it ever causes serious economic harm, the US government could always chose to redefine its commitments. True, but that argument ignores the social unrest such an action might produce.

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