The 2006 midterm elections are six months from today, and I'm in somewhat of a quandary. I've been a Republican my whole life; I've voted for a couple of Democrats for Senator and Governor when I was in the Navy, but Nebraska Democrats would pretty much be Republicans anywhere else. This year, though, I'm afraid I'm going to do something that I never thought would happen -- if the election were held today, I'd vote for Democrats pretty much across the board.I was somewhat surprised to see that his feelings aren't too far-off from mine. This administration has been both intrusive and incompetent, and spent huge amounts of resources pursing unrealistic and immoral ends. bubblehead again:
My bottom line: The Republicans currently in power have, through intellectual laziness, greed, and lack of vision, squandered an opportunity to lead the nation, and the world, into the new century. It's time for them to be pushed aside and let someone else try. And if they nominate a screwball for President in 2008 (and the Dems cast aside their recent history and nominate someone who isn't ridiculous) I could even see myself voting for a Democrat for President. I'm not there yet, but I could almost see myself going there is the Republicans don't straighten up.Here we have a voter who has been abandoned by his party and his representatives. What I find most heartening about this is that he's not just voting against Republicans, but voting for Larry Grant. By being forced into the role of the party of fiscal responsibility and the party who protects the freedoms of its citizens, Democrats have the opportunity to reorganize the policy structures that are needed to meet these ends. We are at a point where the Republicans have run their common wisdom into the ground, and lost these labels that the Democrats have the opportunity to pick up. Instead of nationalized health care being denigrated as expensive and inefficient socialism, Democrats can point to its real fiscal (and corporeal) benefits. It's hard for Republicans to accuse Democrats of being intrusive when they aren't the ones listening to your phone calls and trying to tell you when, why, and with whom to have sex and when you should be pregnant. Bloggers have been complaining for years that Democrats are narrowing their base to a sliver too tiny to be effective, but it's becoming clear that the Republicans have been doing the same thing.
This is an opportunity for Democrats to mend relations with its own base ("What'll you do if we give civil unions the legal weight of marriage and grant same-sex couples access to them? Sic your 32% on us?"), and to take hold of some formerly-conservative-monopolized values and breathe new progressive life into them. This isn't just about winning. This is about doing right by all the citizens who have been hurt by this incompetent administration. Protecting American freedoms and wise use of tax dollars are fundamentally important to good government, and Democrats have to take a crack at it because it's all too clear that Republicans can't be trusted to.