A Democratic Congress

[Apologies for not posting much lately. Since Nov. 1, I have been participating in National Novel Writing Month, which has utterly monopolized my capacity for stringing sentences together. However, I would be remiss if I did not say something about the most recent election.]

Well, the Democrats have control. Let's see what they do with it.

That was my overriding reaction to the election results, by early Wednesday. I am not sure yet whether I should consider the results to be a good or bad thing. I have said many times that it is harmful for the country to have one political party that is corrupt and incompetent, and another that is corrupt and insane. Well, now that the Democrats are faced with the responsibility for setting policy again, it is my profound hope that they give up their insanities and actually do a decent job of it.

One worry is that the committee appointments do not look promising. In particular, if Rep. Jane Harmon is passed over for the chairmanship of the Intelligence Committee for being insufficiently partisan, in favor of Alcee Hastings (a former judge impeached for accepting bribes), it cannot say good things for the state of Democratic governance. Nor will it say much about the Democratic commitment to taming the "culture of corruption" that they so lamented, especially if Louisiana Rep. William Jefferson remains in office even after he was found accepting bribes.

I do not expect to enjoy the Democratic policy preferences during the next two years on the domestic front. But I can accept that, if they finally get serious about the wider conflict with Islamist tyranny in its many hostile forms. Lieberman's victory over Lamont may cool the ardor of the leadership to vacate the field of battle; but it is troubling that many news reports have Democratic leaders taking counsel with George McGovern of all people.

I only hope that we do not abandon the Iraqis to anarchy and tyranny, like we did the South Vietnamese. Recall that the SVA had already repelled a full conventional invasion by the North, with the help of American air cover and resupply only. But then the Democratic Congress cut all funding for the South; before long, the South fell, and Cambodia after it. That cannot happen again. Before, the blood of millions flowed thanks to our war-weariness; if we make the same mistake now, who can say how many innocents will die? Far more than the number of soldiers who might die to prevent such a fate, in any event.

The Democrats have two years to show what they can be trusted to do with power. I hope, for all of our sakes, that they treat that power with the care and seriousness that the times demand. The danger did not begin with Iraq; it will not end with Iraq. I fear that the wider struggle will continue for a generation at least, and we cannot dare to mix policy with fantasy.

The Democrats have control. Let's see what they do with it.

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