Friday, November 10, 2006

Wow. I Didn't Really Expect This

You know, folks (all 2 of you reading this), I just don't know what to think about these election results. I come from a family of gamblers. A family that got through college working the local poker scene. I learned the game of craps in the corner of my saintly grandmother's kitchen. I inherited a spirit of gaming from my genes, but myself has always stayed away from any serious gambling, and by serious I mean 5$ blackjack tables (Where did all the $2 tables go?).

I would have never suspected we had a Democratic congress in the cards if you had asked me last Monday night. That is probably why it is a good thing that I didn't get the gambling jones that a lot of the rest of my family did. Personally, I am just too cheap for it. But I think in a free society it should be regulated instead of outlawing it. Sure there are plenty of compulsive personalities who manage to make themselves a burden on society because of it, but like drugs or sex or easy money, the lure of vice will be there regardless of the rule of law. Some of those things are better left outlawed but I don't think that gaming is one of them, it should be regulated to keep it fair, you know like the stock markets are.

But I digress. I started writing about the election. I'm thrilled at the outcome only because I think a bunch of corrupt, entrenched power-mongers/theocrats, along with a bunch of energy company apologists, drug company lobbyists, and defense industry pawns have been served, with walking papers to be exact. But I worry that the pressure to maintain this hold on Democratic power will drive these same long ignored Democrats straight into the arms of the "donors" who will finance their next election. That seems to be the way things work up there.

To the Democrats coming into power, remember this: Halibuton will finance your campaign more than anyone making minimum wage. Insurance companies will write more campaign checks than people who can't afford their prescribed medication. HMOs will finance more campaigns than sick people ever will. Bankrupt persons will never match the re-election contributions of predatory lenders. Corporate polluter will pay more for political contributions than they ever will in fines. The longer you hold on to power the less the people who put you into power will matter to you.

I guess we can only thank God and the founding fathers that in the end, it all boils down to our votes, and not our pocketbooks, and I will concede that the founding fathers had a much more restrictive version of "our" (the "our" of the time being almost exclusively white males of the Christian persuasion).

"Some kind of balance" has been restored to DC. I make no predictions on its outcome, happy days are most likely not here again, but the pale horse rider is probably not yet ready to make an appearance. I don't think over 200 years of Democracy is going to be destroyed because free elections put the wrong guy in office. It has happened before and the only time it really became a serious problem was when the basic democratic liberties and freedoms became a lesser goal of a "more secure" state.

I believe in personal accountability. I believe in hard work making a better life for yourself and your family. I believe in fiscal responsibility. So why am I not a Republican? Because they have failed with the very things they have said they champion. Every thing they seem to have done in the last twelve years seems to have been in the interest of people with money, be it "death tax" reform (which I understand to be UN-INCORPORATED incomes in excess of 6 figure salaries the likes of which most Americans will never see) and lowering taxes for people earning in excess of $300,000. Way to appeal to your so-called BASE.

I do think that a 35% tax rate should be the top end of the tax rates though. A lot of people don't know that until the 80s, they went all the way up to 70%. Rich people put a stop to that real quick, and I can't say that I blame them. But I will be hard pressed to think that they should be taxed at the same 10% that the poorest among us are taxed at. Unless there wasn't a Federal budget deficit of ... what was it again 7-70 TRILLION FUCKING DOLLARS DEPENDING ON WHO YOU ASK!!!!!!

I have no expectations that the Democrats will do better though. It is only a matter of time before monied interest buy them out and I will be looking for the Republicans, who after maybe a decade of grubbing for money from THE PEOPLE (instead of big moneyed corporations) might pull another "Contract with America" thing, to get us to buy what they're selling again for the time being.

That is my only prediction. One side gonna get the power until they start to suck, then it goes to some one else. When that happens, it's not the end of the world. It is the realization of an observation that Ben Franklin made over 200 years ago, we have the worst possible form of government, but it's the best thing we got so far.

May God Bless the United States of America and all the people in it (REGARDLESS of party affiliation*).

* or race, creed, color, religion, gender or, dare I say it, Sexual Preferance (gasp**).

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