This morning I got up at 5:30am to watch the election returns. Mercifully I got to look at Cooper Anderson (he's so pretty) instead of the over-caffeinated British guy who always seems to be yelling at me. It was not a repeat of the election of 1922, but it was satisfying none the less.
Now, however, I realize just the sticky situation that everyone is in. First, let's take the "winners." The Dems "won" yesterday because they focused on America's growing dissatisfaction with the war in Iraq. Unfortunately, the U.S. will not be leaving Iraq any time soon. To pull up and move out would result in all out civil war. Disengaging is going to take a little finesse, something this administration has not shown much of. Furthermore, foreign policy is the domain of the executive and the legislative can really only use its oversight powers. Although the impulse is there to haul people before committees and point fingers and say, "I told you so," the Dems really need to fight that urge. It would be unproductive and is not the solution to the problem before us.
The Dems have a domestic agenda, too, including health care, education and raising the minimum wage. However, if the Senate remains Republican or 50 /50, much of what the Dems want to do will get stuck before it even gets off the ground. Thus, the Dems face a potentially major problem in 2008: What have they done for 2 years?
The Executive isn't exactly doin' a little dance or gettin' down tonight, either. I just watched Bush's comments and press conference. Boy, oh, boy! I have never seen him look that uncomfortable or speak that quickly. Frankly, he looked . . . pissed. He mentioned wanting to reach across the aisle and work with Dems on the important "issues," like education. That would be great if he (a) had not said the exact same thing 2 years ago and (b) cut federal funding for college loans while simultaneously increasing interest rates on student loans.
In another not so shocking moment, W announced the resignation of Donald Rumsfeld. Seems that Don only wants to play if he can set the rules and do what he wants. Now that he will not have free reign, he is taking his toys and going home. Well, that is if the oversight committees don't get him.
So both parties are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Maybe, just maybe, they might actually play nice in order to get something done. Political parties in Germany would tell them to play nice. After all, there CDU and SPD have had to live with the same situation for a year now. Sadly, making your enemy your friend is not always that easy, but here's hoping.