Thursday, November 09, 2006
My Congressional Wishlist

Along with everyone else (on the left, anyway,) I've spent the last day or so contemplating our new position and wondering what we might do with this beautiful opportunity. I realize, obviously, that the Democratic Congress' power will still be very limited -- that's what checks and balances is all about (and it's about goddamn time we had some of that again.) It would be enough for me, honestly, to simply render the Bush white house as impotent as Wilford Brimley at the Bunny Ranch without his diabeetus supplies. I would be satisfied if this congress merely made every day Bush remains in office as frustrating and painful as it can conceivably be. I would be content if they only stood around the capitol with their arms folded across their chests, sneering derisively through two years of "nay" votes. That's all I need from them.

But you know me, I'm a dreamer. I dare to think bigger. I'm just like that. So here's what I'd really like to see happen over the next two years. You won't find anything outlandish here -- as much as I want to see Bush/Cheney/Rice/Gonzales and the rest impeached, humiliated, and frog-marched out of the white house in festive orange jumpsuits, I know idle dreams when I see them. But there are a few things I think we can get started on even while stuck in a deadlock.

1) Top-to-bottom election reform: election day becomes a national holiday, with mandatory voting and a broadened array of voting methods. State laws and procedures regarding elections brought up to a minimum federal standard. Paper trails at every step. You know, all the fucking obvious stuff.

2) Health care reform: that's right, damn it, socialized medicine. We can devise our own system, but nobody should be left without access to basic medical care ever; it's barbaric. Legalize buying meds abroad if the pharmaceutical companies won't play along, and legalize marijuana already while you're at it. Draw up a plan, introduce a bill, pass it in both the house and senate, and then let Bush veto it. Please let him veto it. It'll be the best thing he's ever done for the Democratic party.

3) Bring back the fairness doctrine. Remember how much we all got done back before we were constantly at each other's throats, egged on by radio and teevee pundits? Haven't you drawn the connection between the dismantling of the fairness doctrine, the rise of talk radio, and the rancor in politics? Wouldn't it be nice to go back to those days of relative civility?

4) Lay the groundwork to reverse the damage done to our constitution and our international standing: get rid of the PATRIOT Act and replace it with a sensible national security program that addresses our real concerns while leaving us our civil rights and liberties. Start dealing with Guantanamo Bay and our secret prisons. Acknowledge that we've been torturing people, and that doing so was fucking evil.

5) Vastly increase funding for alternative energy research. Don't think about it, just do it. Give our scientists money; they're our only hope.

6) Lower taxes on the middle class, and screw the top 1/2 of 1% to the wall. Tax Halliburton till its ears bleed. It owes us several hundred billion dollars.

7) And you knew this one was coming: open our Iraq policy to the international community. Begin the process of withdrawing with the help and protection of all the other nations interested in the best possible outcome there. It's hard, but it's not rocket science. (Mars, bitches!)

And if you can't do all of these things -- I don't actually expect you to -- then force the Republicans to veto them. I can't wait to see Joe Public's face when he finds out Bush vetoed a bill to lower his taxes or to make his elderly mother's prescription drugs affordable. Win or lose, we'll still win.

Just don't blow it, goddamn you.
7:52 PM ::
Amy :: permalink
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