Who Hijacked Our Country

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Thank you Jesus it’s finally over. Most of all of course I’m grateful that the Democrats won. But regardless of the outcome, there’s an overwhelming feeling of relief. I read somewhere that when a murderer is on the run for a long time and finally gets caught, he’s apt to fall asleep in the back of the police car, because it’s finally over. I know the feeling.

The Democrats can’t blow this or they’ll be out again in two years. The last thing they can afford to do is start gloating, getting even or being complacent.

But, to paraphrase that real estate cliché: investigate investigate investigate. Six years of one-party rule, with Congress being a rubber stamp. Six years of secret deals, scandals, cover-ups, and more cover-ups to cover up the cover-up. It’s time to drain the swamp. Start lifting those rocks to see what’s festering underneath.

I personally don’t care if Bush is impeached or not. But we need to find out what happened, how it happened and how to prevent it from ever happening again. Neither party can ever be allowed to achieve this much secrecy and unaccountability again. Ever.


Blogger Stephanie said...

You say the Democrats cannot start "getting even" and then call for investigations.

Do you really think the two are very different? Yes, the government needs investigating, but the Dems are hardly impartial in this matter, nor are they without need to be investigated themselves. I highly doubt this will be the "clean sweep" you're hoping for...but I guess we can hope.

November 8, 2006 at 5:16 PM  
Blogger LJG aka Pennsylvania Independent said...

I am glad too. i am sick of all the attack ads. They wonder why television and radio become depressing.

November 8, 2006 at 5:28 PM  
Blogger J. Marquis said...

I agree, Tom. I don't think the Dems should be talking about impeachment but they should be issuing subpeonas and digging. I think there's a lot of bad stuff hidden out there and I think Dubya and Dick are worried sick about it.

November 8, 2006 at 6:36 PM  
Blogger J. Marquis said...

I agree, Tom. I don't think the Dems should be talking about impeachment but they should be issuing subpeonas and digging. I think there's a lot of bad stuff hidden out there and I think Dubya and Dick are worried sick about it.

November 8, 2006 at 6:36 PM  
Blogger Ricardo said...

Tom I've done everything short of dance in the street out of fear that it would get me arrested for disorderly conduct. Yes, let's investigate and while impeachment isn't on top of my list now.....why not? But then again that would overshadow some other urgent matters that really need our attention.

November 8, 2006 at 6:46 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Stephanie: Yes I see a difference between getting even and holding lots of investigations. Too many investigations might alienate voters, but that’s unavoidable to an extent. Like I said in the post, it’s crucial that neither party ever get this much absolute power again. There’s been too much secrecy and unaccountability and we need to start digging. If heads roll, it’ll probably include Democrats too. A lot of legislators haven’t been doing their jobs, and that includes both parties.

Pennsylvania Independent: Yeah, I’m totally sick of those attack ads. It seems like they didn’t work as well this year; maybe the public has finally gotten a tolerance to them.

J. Marquis: Yup, it’s definitely time to start issuing subpoenas and doing some serious digging. There’s a lot of shit that needs to be uncovered.

Ricardo: Yeah, I’m afraid impeachment might alienate too many swing voters (not that it worked that way when the Republicans impeached Clinton). If the investigations uncover enough information, the Republicans (and some Democrats) will be dead meat for the 2008 election.

November 8, 2006 at 7:15 PM  
Blogger Kvatch said...

The Democrats can’t blow this or they’ll be out again in two years. The last thing they can afford to do is start gloating, getting even or being complacent.

That's what Tom DeLay said. :-) Well, he actually said they'd be out in two years not matter what.

November 8, 2006 at 7:15 PM  
Blogger ariadneK, Ph.D. said...

I don't believe that ANY party should dominate for more than 4 years at a time. Just my random thoughts!!!

November 8, 2006 at 7:31 PM  
Blogger spaceneedl said...

democrats need to be investigated? lol. good one. republicans have held every branch of government since 2002, were responsible for the worst corruption and incompetence in history, and some deluded folks think democrats need to be investigated. priceless.

democrats will get even for years of republican malfeasance by holding republicans responsible for their actions.

investigations are just the start of a return to sanity. in the interest of impartiality, i'd stipulate an independent special prosecutor would be acceptable.

November 8, 2006 at 8:13 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Kvatch: I’m sure that’s what DeLay hopes for.

Ariadnek: I agree on some sort of time limit. If one party stays in power too long, the pendulum will swing, like it’s starting to now.

Spaceneedl: Yes, some Democrats are guilty too. The ones who voted for the Patriot Act and the elimination of Habeas Corpus — Bush wouldn’t have this much absolute power without the help of Democrats. And corruption doesn’t know any party boundaries. I’m ready for that independent special prosecutor. He/she needs to get in there and kick ass.

November 8, 2006 at 9:18 PM  
Blogger spaceneedl said...

tom, unless "bad judgement" or "believing a lying administration" is a crime, democrats are in the clear.

when we talk about investigations, i guess we have to specify criminal actions committed by or abetted by the republican government.

war crimes should probably top the list, and we'll work down from there.

November 8, 2006 at 9:34 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Spaceneedl: “Bad judgment” and “believing a lying administration” — that’ll excuse the Democrats who voted for the war in Iraq in 2003, since they were lied to by Bush. But more recent treasonous laws couldn’t have been passed without some Democrats, and for them there’s no excuse.

In this post I named all the Senators who voted to suspend Habeas Corpus. Some of them are Democrats, and everyone who voted for that bill is a traitor. We need to clean house.

November 8, 2006 at 11:25 PM  
Blogger Praguetwin said...


I guess you haven't heard of William Jefferson.

Both parties have some dirty members. Clearly, the Republicans have more, but to say the Democrats are "in the clear" is pretty ignorant. I don't mean to say you are ignorant, but that you are displaying a willing ignorance on this one issue.


Relief. Yea, that really captures the emotion.

November 9, 2006 at 4:46 AM  
Blogger Jolly Roger said...

The Chimpletons are panicky, as they probably realize what any meaningful investigations mean for their beloved hero. They have excused, apologized away, and lied for their beloved Chimperor all along and his firm repudiation means nothing to them-after all that's happened, all they can come up with is "dems need investigated too!" Pathetic.

I really don't think that investigations will bring about an impeachment. I expect that the behavior of the cabal yet to come will bring impeachment about. This Executive has acted like a law unto itself for 6 years, refusing to abide by the Constitutional separation of powers and refusing to enforce laws that it signed into being by way of ridiculous "signing statements." If they continue in this vein, they will force the Legislature to assert itself-and in our system, the Legislature only has one remedy for a renegade Executive.

November 9, 2006 at 6:19 AM  
Blogger spaceneedl said...

tru dat...i can get on board with frog-marching anyone who supported the military commissions act.

November 9, 2006 at 7:14 AM  
Blogger Snave said...

I have to believe there is a big difference between "getting even" and doing honest inquiry into what happened to get us into Iraq, what happened with Cheney's energy committee, etc. ad nauseum.

First, to me "getting even" implies success in the effort, that is, successful impeachment would be "getting even" for what Bush has done during the past six years. Investigating what the administration has been doing in hopes of learning more? Nothing in that seems like "getting even" to me.

If a person says they are afraid of the Democrats trying to "get even", I think that suggests the person knows there has been wrongdoing. This could hold true whether the person is a lefty or a righty. I don't think we will hear very many radio rightwing talkers using the terms "Democrats" and "get(ting) even" in the same sentence, because those folks don't think Bush has done anything wrong.

I DON'T want to see the Dems try to "get even" in this sense, because I think it would make the entire party a great target for Rove and the GOP spin machine. We on the left have to think about ways to do things right during the next two years so we can get a Dem into the White House in 2008, or at worst, keep majorities in the House and Senate.

I do want some answers. Simply wanting more information, now that there is actually a chance we could get more information, isn't a vengeful kind of behavior. Let's look, let's see what has really been happening so, as Tom says, it will never happen again.

November 9, 2006 at 7:29 AM  
Blogger Jill said...

The Dems need to put politics aside and listen to the people who elected them. Get this country back on track and return to the days when America was respected around the world.

November 9, 2006 at 7:48 AM  
Blogger BaxterWatch said...

if we investigate, you can be promised that what is found is going to be alot worse than a semen stain on an intern's dress.

i'm just saying.

November 9, 2006 at 9:20 AM  
Blogger spaceneedl said...

it’s safe to predict that any investigations--any at all--will be portrayed by republicans as a “partisan witch hunt.”

avoiding accountability...it's the same tactic that enabled iraq (and now afghanistan) to become a train wreck, and allowed new orleans and the gulf coast to languish more than a year after katrina.

no more.

November 9, 2006 at 11:16 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Prague Twin: Yup, relief is the overwhelming feeling.

Jolly Roger: Yup, it should be interesting to see how Bush and senior Republicans start acting. If Bush tries to pull out all the stops as he’s getting backed into a corner, the legislative branch will have no choice. I know Bush is making all kinds of conciliatory speeches now, but I don’t believe a word of it. It’ll be just like they say in the movies: “we can do this the easy way or the hard way.”

Spaceneedl: Oh yeah, let the frog-marching begin.

Snave: You’re right, there’s just too much that’s gone awry over these 6 years. We need to dig and dig and find out what happened. It can’t come across as getting even, or the public will put the Republicans back in Congress in 2008. But we need to find out what happened and how to prevent it in the future.

Jill: That’s definitely the top priority — getting America back on track and coming up with a positive agenda that they can campaign on in 2008. This doesn’t clash with investigating. We need to hire an independent prosecutor. He/she will do the investigating and subpoenaing while Congress tackles energy independence, the economy, Iraqmire, etc.

Baxterwatch: Oh yeah, you can count on that. Bush will be wishing a semen stain was all they found.

Spaceneedl: Yup, that’s the unfortunate truth. Republicans will spin any investigation as a “witch hunt” and they’ll keep saying “we need to focus on the issues,” etc. Nixon used to complain about “wallowing in Watergate” and “getting on with the business of the people.” (Didn’t do him much good either.) But we need to investigate and hopefully the public will be able to separate the facts from the Republican spin.

November 9, 2006 at 11:31 AM  
Blogger Dustin said...

This is going to be an interesting two years in the landscape of US politics, frankly, I think. I do believe that there's going to be a lot of investigations, and some damning things will come out, but I do not believe that there will be any kind of impeachment. I think the democrats saw that didn't go over very well with a lot of people when the republicans got to feeling stronger than they really were. Bottom line is this, I think, the next two years are going to be marked by partisanship and investigations which the findings from will be used extensively in the next election cycle.

November 9, 2006 at 12:48 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Dustin: The Democrats need to walk a fine line. They need to hold hearings and investigations, but they also need to focus on the issues. Energy independence is supposed to be the most important issue to a lot of people, regardless of political views. If the Democrats can get out in front on this issue (plus digging up some incriminating information) they should be in excellent shape for 2008.

November 9, 2006 at 1:05 PM  
Blogger Dustin said...

Tom, more than anything I wish energy independence was a real bipartisan issue. I worked in alternative fuels research for a few years, and I truly believe in it. However, while I think both sides talk a good game there, I don't see either one doing anything about it. The republicans want energy independence to be drilling off-shore and in Alaska, along with mining more coal and working toward "clean coal" which is an oxymoron if ever there was one. Democrats talk about alternative fuels, but generally end up putting money toward ethanol, which doesn't solve the real problems.

You know the sad fact here? Who's one of the only politicians working on what he calls "the hydrogen future"? Arnold out in California. Maybe over the next two years we'll really push energy independence in a real way, addressing carbon emissions and solving our own problems at the same time, but I don't see it coming. I hope I'm just cynical and we're on our way to doing it right this time.

November 9, 2006 at 1:49 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...


"There’s been too much secrecy and unaccountability and we need to start digging."

Oh, I do agree with that part. I just don't share your confidence that the Democrats will do it. Like I said, we can hope. But the secrecy and unaccountability was against we the People, not the Democrats. It's not like Democrats weren't on Capital Hill during all of this, or that they didn't go along with a lot of it.

Perhaps the fresh faces will be different. We can hope. Just don't do so blindly. I worry they'll start telling us what we want to hear (not that they ever really stopped that) and people won't dig far enough to discern whether or not it's the truth.

November 9, 2006 at 4:18 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

The only way to avoid the appropriateness of the "witch hunt" label is to investigate impartially. If the Dems, as a whole, really want to put honesty and integrity back into the government, then they need to look at all the people who were involved, including their own.

Bush has been ignoring the divisions within our government? Yes, obviously. But, it was the complacent Congress who allowed it. That Congress was not 100% Republican, nor were the Republicans the only ones who were complacent. For those of you who cannot/will not realize that, beware it's not the benefit of America you're looking for...it's the benefit of the Democrats -- two mutually exclusive things. Democrat politicians can only do their job if they serve their constituents and their nation. Not doing that is what lost the Republicans the Congress. The only way for the Dems to keep it is to do what they're there to do.

November 9, 2006 at 4:27 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

I think that appointing an independent special prosecutor would be the best way to go if there is to be any investigating of the administration. And I think there needs to be some investigation... but I also think the Democrats need to decide what their focus/emphasis will be during the next two years: investigate the administration, or work with the other guys to make things better in America. While it doesn't have to be either/or, I don't think they ought to be emphasizing investigations, or they'll play into the hands of Demon Rove and his Minions.

I also think that while the Democrats won a sweeping victory, this is probably because they "aren't the Republicans". Their big win doesn't mean America wants a "liberal" agenda as much as it may mean people are just tired of enduring the same old Bushcrap for the past six years, and wanted a way to put the brakes on the White House. It may have been a referendum on Bush himself, a way of saying anything is better than the path we're on... which would also suggest it was a referendum on Iraq, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Karl Rove, divisive politics, dirty tricks, and neoconsertavism in general. Maybe not necessarily on social conservatism...

The religious social conservatives still came out and voted. I think they're tired of the crap too, probably in different ways than Democrats are, but still frustrated with the administration. Even with a good turnout from that group of voters, the Dems still pulled off the inconceivable... and probably with the help of some of those voters. If I were the Dem leaders, I wouldn't be foaming at the mouth to try and immediately swing the country as far to the left as the GOP has swung it to the right. Somewhere in the center would probably be a good place for starters, and that might ease the worries of many Americans.

I think the Democrats will realize this when they look toward 2008. I beleive their aim should be to get things done now that will be good for the country and popular with Americans, because that will in turn be good PR for them in 2008. As others have said already on this thread, the Dems need to listen; unlike what the administration has done for six years, they need to pay attention to what the people want, and work with it.

I think it definitely is the time for the Demos to be uniters, not dividers, and for them to lead by example. There will be right-wing complaints about toes being stepped on, a secret sneaky "liberal" agenda, etc. from the new minority party (that sure has a nice ring to it, eh!), and they will think their feelings are hurt... probably more out of frustration than anything. But I do believe the two parties can work together and get some things done.

What I'm curious about is how active Bush will be with his veto pen. He won't want to veto too much legislation that might be popular with voters... and I'm thinking he might actually listen to others for a change, especially those in his own party. Think he would sign a bill that raises the federal minimum wage? I think he might.

He started off his administration in 2000 with a bang... he may be headed out with a whimper. I think America is ready to see some humility from the guy, at the least.

November 9, 2006 at 6:53 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Dustin: I sure hope energy independence becomes a top priority and not just a few empty slogans. According to a Thomas Friedman column a few weeks ago, several surveys showed this to be the single most important issue. It ties in with national security, the economy and the environment. Politicians are sleazy but they aren’t stupid. One party will take the lead on this, and that party will be positioned for 2008.

Energy independence doesn’t mean tearing up our national parks or jeopardizing the coastline looking for oil. Conservation in general, better gas mileage, developing every renewable energy source possible — it’s gotta be done. It would be ironic if Ahnuld turned out to the trendsetter here.

Stephanie: The investigations, as much as possible, should be held by an independent prosecutor. This is for impartiality and so that Congress can devote its time to tackling issues and solving problems. I read that the House might reinstate the 5-day workweek for Congress. First time in many years — that would be a great start for them. The Democrats are on a 2-year probation period, so hopefully they won’t screw this up.

Snave: Yes, the worst thing they could do is start pushing for a liberal agenda. I don’t think voters have gotten more liberal; they just wanted to get rid of this gang of thugs and losers. The minimum wage is one of the Democrats’ top priorities, but the vast majority of voters agrees with a minimum wage hike. If Bush vetoes that, it’ll backfire on him.

But other than that, Congress needs to focus on bipartisan issues like Iraqmire and the energy crisis. The Democrats need to reach out to the other side as much as possible. And meanwhile the independent prosecutor will be lifting up rocks and seeing what’s festering underneath…

November 9, 2006 at 7:13 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...


If the necessary (and I don't dispute they're necessary) investigations are handed to a special prosecutor, that would be appropriate and productive. If the Dems try to do-it-yourself, then they're going to fall on their faces.

If they actually listen for a change, then...that would be excellent. I'm not going to hold my breath, though.

I definitely think Snave is right about the not-so-liberal agenda thing. Wisconsin was staunchly blue this time around from the looks of it, yet we passed a Marriage Amendment that limits marriage and marital benefits to one man and one woman. We're a farm-heavy, factory-heavy state -- thus the blue. But, Wisconsin also tends to be more socially conservative than Madison is willing to acknowledge. If the Reps ever wised up to the labor/farmer friendly mindset of Wisconsinites, they could take over pretty good. They're still too busy coddling corporations, and so they lose marks on that.

That's only one state, but still... It should give 'em something to think about.

November 9, 2006 at 9:34 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Stephanie: That’s true, the investigations need to be done by an outside person to maintain objectivity. I definitely agree with you and Snave that a liberal agenda would be a fatal mistake. They need to deal mostly with Iraq and energy independence, both bipartisan issues. And both parties lose sight of regular people, like farmers and laborers that you mention. Democrats make a better show of catering to “the people,” but they need to walk the walk and not just make better soundbites.

November 10, 2006 at 12:15 AM  
Blogger 1138 said...

I wonder who the impartial concerned group is that Stephanie would bring in???
The only option is having the Democrats investigate, that or do nothing.

I'll take the risk than in the process of the truth coming out, the American people will see what happened and demand justice.

This election was not about "getting along", getting along is what got us into this trouble, cooperation all the way to Baghdad.

Wake up, it's not an unlimited mandate, but it's not a call to passive cooperation.

November 11, 2006 at 1:55 PM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

While there are some things tha tneed to be looked at, if it appears the only thing the democrats are interested in is investigations, and not whatever their agenda is (anyone seen that?)they'll be gone in two years.

Shumer was the voice of reason yesterday in the Wall St. Journal when he said if they govern as if all they are is against Bush it will be a short lived majority.

November 12, 2006 at 2:35 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Crazy Politico: These investigations are important so we can find out what happened. Six years of secrecy and unaccountability have left a lot of festering sores and abscesses. These investigations serve a purpose; they aren’t for payback.

Democrats need to show a degree of transparency and open-ness that hasn’t been seen in six years (probably a lot longer). And their legislative agenda needs to be focused on bi-partisan solutions. I didn’t see Schumer’s column but he’s exactly right.

November 12, 2006 at 4:02 PM  

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