Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Later thoughts on the election

I have a few more thoughts and observations about the mid-term elections since this morning.

1. The Associated Press and NBC are now calling the Virginia Senate race for Webb. There are rumors Allen will concede. Earlier today Webb appointed his transition team of state Delegate Donald McEachin, former congressman Owen Pickett, and Tom Lehner, who was chief of staff for former Senator Charles Robb.

2. I am very pleased that Donald Rumsfeld is being shown the door. This is good news for the Iraqi people, American soldiers and the American people. Rumsfeld has never been held accountable for the disaster in Iraq he has presided over. It’s not clear what the most reasonable thing to do next is but at least now fresh thinking can be seriously considered.

3. The nomination of Robert Gates to replace Rumsfeld is interesting. I’m not sure how this came about but I very much suspect James Baker had a hand in it. In other words, the friends of George Bush senior have seen what a mess George Bush junior has made and are now trying to bail him out of trouble.

4. Is Dick Cheney next? If my speculation is true about Baker and if I were Baker, I would urge the Vice President to step down. Cheney’s fingerprints are all over the White House Iraq policy and Mr. Cheney is too dominant a figure to be in the same room with the rather weak President Bush. Besides, the Vice Presidency could be given to someone to use as a launching pad for a 2008 Presidential bid. As of a little while ago, George Allen is looking for a new job. Now wouldn’t George and George make quite a pair?

5. The elections are now over. It is time to release the recommendations of the Baker-Hamilton Commission on Iraq. It is also time for the House Ethics Committee to release its report on the Foley matter. Remember, both of these were held back in order to not influence the elections – as if the American people are too stupid and immature to use information intelligently when making decisions on how to vote.

6. During the campaign I heard many Republican references to Nancy Pelosi becoming the House Speaker. Supposedly that was a scare tactic but did it ever occur to any of these Republicans that every time they said that there were reminding voters the current Speaker is Dennis Hastert. The thought of Hastert in the leadership for another term is scary. As of this afternoon, Mr. Hastert has agreed to fall on his sword.

7. As Andrew Sullivan points out, the spirit of Barry Goldwater is alive and kicking in Arizona. The libertarian-conservative Goldwater would have approved of the state’s defeat of their proposed ban on same sex marriage. This is contrast to the increasingly opportunistic John McCain who campaigned for the measure.

8. Speaking of marriage bans, my minister contemplates here the Virginia proposal and ministers committing misdemeanors presiding over marriages.

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