America has decided. As expected, the Democrats have regained the House and likely the Senate. Obviously, the unpopular war in Iraq was the driving reason for this, especially in states like Rhode Island, Indiana, Virginia and Montana. Many of the candidates who faced each other held similar views on just about every issue except the war, and if you had an "R" next to your name then you were behind the eight ball from the beginning.
It’s good to see that the Democratic party learned a few things from the past elections and this showed in their selection of more moderate candidates. America has rejected the liberal extremists in the past and would have likely done so again. So the new Democrat Congress won’t be much different than what we already had, except they’ll be fresh faces. The question is: Who will run things on Capitol Hill?
My concern is that even though this is a predominantly moderate Congress, the Democrat leadership is still made up of the extreme Liberals. People like Nancy Pelosi, the Representative from San Francisco; Charles Rangel, one of the leading income redistribution advocates; Ted Kennedy, Mr. "quagmire" cut-and-run; Robert Byrd, ex-KKK leader; Dick Durbin, John Kerry and Howard Dean. These are the extremists. These are the ones who pose a threat to America’s way of life. To what extent will they be able to bully the moderate rookies into their bidding? It’s a fair question and one that will soon be answered the moment the new Congress takes power. If they have their way with the fresh faces then America may get more than they bargained for.
We voted for a moderate Congress, but I don’t think we voted to have Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House, or Charles Rangel as Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee. The term "unintended consequences" immediately comes to mind.
The Bush Administration has expressed their willingness to work with the moderates, and Rumsfeld’s decision to step down is a good-faith gesture of that willingness. It’s a peace-offering, an attempt to start on the right foot. I feel the moderates will accept this peace-offering and will be willing to their part as well to meet Bush in the middle. But what will the extremists in the leadership do? I think they’re out for blood. Hopefully, we won’t hear about investigations or subpoenas. Hopefully, we won’t hear more calls for resignations. Hopefully, there won’t be strong-arm tactics meant to push the White House around. These sorts of things aren’t good for solving our problems and, I have a feeling, it’s not what America voted for yesterday. So who will call the shots? The Moderates or the Extremists? America has given the Democratic party another chance. What will they do with it?
Only time will tell.