Thursday, November 09, 2006

Always Have a Plan B

Always have a Plan B. Our cocksure president, Mr. Bush, forgot this very important lesson in life. We Americans rewarded the confident and cocky cowboy from Texas for way too long. If he had heeded this advice, he would have adapted to the circumstances in Iraq not as he had hoped they would be but as they turned out to be. Wishing doesn’t make it so. When the Iraqi people failed to shower the foreign invaders with rose petals, Mr. Bush and company should have adjusted to the reality that “hey maybe we were wrong.” Instead, they plowed ahead with their Plan A and stayed the course all the way to yesterday - the day after the American voters took our president and his cohorts to the woodshed for a much-need spanking.

Mr. President, your legacy will be a failed war and a failed policy unless you realize that while you are our elected president, you must base your decisions on sound and well thought out policies reached through compromise and cooperation. I hope you have learned this life lesson. That will be a true victory.


Don said...

I doubt that it was only the war that led to the trip to the woodshed. I feel that a lot of conservative Republicans and independents (the determining voters in most elections) rejected Republicans who have supported Bush's recent policies on several fronts including reckless spending and his working to make the USA just one third of the North American Community by 2010 (why doesn’t someone blog about that around here?) which would destroy our sovereignty as a nation in particular, and they had no other choice to send a message than to vote for Democratic candidates. I don't view this as their embracing the Democratic agenda. If the Democrats don't come up with a real agenda that seems to be putting the country back on the right track their control of Congress may be short-lived.

I think that in the end this can be good for the Republicans in Congress, too, because it will make them realize how far they have strayed from their supporters and perhaps they will listen to them more in the future. If they do, that could be good for the country.

Bush wasn’t the only one grabbing his ankles behind that woodshed.

Sheila said...

Thanks Don. I agree with you that the Democrats in Congress have their work cut out. And I too think that it wasn't so much wanting the Democratic agenda as sending a message. I could never understand how the Republicans kept embracing a humongous deficit.

Now, here's my fear. We Democrats always seem to be shooting ourselves in the foot. Example: John Kerry who thankfully should no longer be a worry to me. I like what Rep. Pelosi is saying about working together and hope that comes about. I think it is too much to hope for that the Republicans and Democrats will put away differences to reach a compromise.

But, maybe just maybe. I am going to be optimistic for the time being.

Dirty Butter said...

I would agree that this was not a pro Democrat vote, and that party has a lot to prove before the next elections. I'm going to be optimistic with you, Sheila.

Sheila said...

I hope the politicans have finally gotten the message that the American people want them to work together to deal with some really tough issues. What do we do about the immigration issue other than build a huge fence, how can we keep decent paying jobs in this country, can we make getting a higher education possible for those poorer students who need help the most, what can we do when people lose their health insurance or can't afford to have it all, how do we keep our country safe from those who would just as soon as wipe us out while not destroying our cherished individual freedoms, and one of the most troubling concerns of mine, how and when are you politicians going to wean yourselves from the easy and comes-with-strings-attached money of the lobbyists and special interests groups?

Don said...

Sheila and Rosemary, while I hope your optimism is well founded, I must admit I don’t share it.

Maybe that's because I too often have observed politicians saying one thing for public consumption from front-center stage, while speaking altogether differently in the wings and backstage.

Sheila said...

Well, Don. Of course you are right about the two-faced, talking out of both sides of their mouths politicos. But I'm naive and still think we can have the "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" kind of government.If we could just get them to answer to us instead of the fat cats.

My mantra is "Believe."

Don said...

President Reagan's mantra was "Trust, but verify". I know very few politicians I feel I can trust, but at least we can try to put them on the record as to where they stand on issues that we consider important to us, and then hold their feet to the fire to deliver. On the state level I have been urging voters to do just that with the persons who will represent them in the legislature for the next four years, plus the Governor and the Lieutenant Governor. I've done my best to put them on the record on the issue I concentrate on, Initiative and Referendum for Alabamians, as you can see @

Sheila said...

Don, I with you on holding the politicians feet to the fire. And there are a few I'd sooner hold more than their feet to the fire. If we don't start being more contrary, we are going to get what we deserve.

Don said...

“We”, speaking collectively of Alabamians, already have what we deserve because of “our” general apathy when it comes to performing what I consider to be our civic duty by becoming actively involved in the government we supposedly own and certainly pay for. We have met the enemy and Apathy is his name.

In first grade, or before, we were told that “A” stands for Apple. There are 4 “A”s in Alabama which may stand for Alabamians Are Abjectly Apathetic.

How to change or overcome that is the major hurdle that must be overcome if we want a government we can have confidence and pride in rather one that everyone just complains about, but does nothing to help improve it.

Sheila said...

Don, I know you are working on the referendum issue. But how do we get people motivated to buy into such a plan when they are sidetracked by what I call "the bright shiny pieces of tin-foil?" I sense in these mid-term elections that many of us are tired of both parties with their polarization. I think we must work to focus on what are the really important issues facing our country: decent jobs not just any job, decent healthcare, safer borders & immigration control that still permits America to be a beacon of hope, education that provides a way to better ourselves, political leaders who are answerable to their constituents, military might to scare away the kooks, and a restoration of the U.S. to a respected position among the world's nations.

Those are the issues that matter most to me and I think to the country as a whole. Yet, we continually get diverted by issues like gay marriage or stem-cell research.

Don said...

Sheila, you ask the $64,000 question and I have no answer for it.

I concentrate on state issues because I’m just a simple guy with limited abilities and that national ocean is too vast for me to fish in, so I cast my line in the state pond or a puddle closer to home.

It seems that most people are so tied up with their own affairs of self and family just struggling to get by and/or trying to improve their own condition or keep up with the Jones (which I can understand) that they have no time or inclination to think beyond that and start thinking on a larger scale which might include the many issues that concern you. There are some that don’t even work at improving their own lot and depend on entitlements to cover their needs. There are others who are concerned about some of your issues but feel powerless to do anything about them, so they just leave everything up to our elected leaders and hope for the best instead of trying to influence the leaders in even a small way such as contacting them and telling them what they would like to see done. How to prod anyone not already inclined to be an activist in any way into becoming one is a question I wish I knew the answer to.

“political leaders who are answerable to their constituents”: They feel no need to be answerable when their constituents just leave everything up to them. If voters told them what they have to do to have their support at the polls when they run for re-election and then keep pressuring them to deliver, that would make a difference. But very little of that takes place.

I think we need more highly qualified state legislators who have time to really concentrate on governing rather than governing being just a part time job for them. If I had my wishes we would have a full time legislature similar to Congress. Too many state legislators spend most of their time in other positions and too many of those positions are funded by the state which creates a conflict of interest. Look at how many of them work in education and vote on appropriations for education. We now see some of the results of that in the scandals being revealed in the two year college system. A full time legislature would mean that those “double-dippers” would have to choose between their full-time employment and serving the people for a smaller income in most instances. When they left the legislature the power of Paul Hubbert would be greatly diminished or completely broken. The same thing applies to legislators who work for the state in other fields. Having them leave the legislature would cripple Mac McArthur’s power in the legislature. Without having to listen to power brokers like those two labor leaders perhaps our leaders would have time to talk with the people they represent for a change.

I’ve rattled on far too much, so I’ll get off of my soapbox now.

Sheila said...

Don, glad to hear your "rattling." If I could make a living at rattling and being an activist, I'd be one happy camper. As it is, I am faced with needing a paying job to help my family much like the rest of the country. I do think we might get some of our passionate young people and passionate retired folks interested in a kind of grass roots or populist effort along these lines. I sense the mood is becoming more conducive. The level of corruption, mismanagement and unethical shenanigans has reached a breaking point for many.

You mentioned the two-year college system scandals. Well, I hope that someone focuses on the four year institutions too. But that's another soapbox.

Thanks for your insights.

Don said...

It seems as if we have a two person forum in progress here, but I enjoy your responses, Sheila.

I didn’t mean to imply that the two year college system is the only area where corruption exists. It just happens to be the area that is now in the spotlight, but corruption creeps like kudzu, I fear, throughout all three branches of our state government because of the way it’s presently structured. That’s why I would like to go back to the drawing board and start all over with something so new and different to us that it would take at least a while for politicians to devise ways to corrupt it, as well. Politicians and corruption seem to go with one another. It must be in the genes of those who want the power and prestige of holding office -- sometimes it spreads to their jeans, if you know what I mean.

When I first got interested in state government and began wondering what could be done to improve it, after a black friend in Montgomery (who told me I needed to learn how to use a computer and then told me I needed a website, and who has provided it for me since then) found for me what I think may be the answer on the internet I knew what I would like to see happen eventually. But, I knew that could only happen after we have Initiative and Referendum to use to make it happen, and that if the legislature realized what my ultimate goal is it would never let us have I&R unless hell freezes first. So, I won’t mention that here, but I will send you an email about it and trust you to not talk about it on your blog.