In looking at today’s election, competence is the overwhelming issue. The Republicans clearly lack it for putting a lust for power over their duty to the Constitution. The Democrats clearly lack it for failing to fight the Republican lust for power with better solutions to what’s facing us. It’s enough to make me disillusioned. Yet, I remain optimistic that our form of government will prevail. Probably not today, and almost definitely not in Virginia, but in the long-term, it will prevail. That leaves hope. I’d rather have certainty through evidence, but hope will have to be enough.
Among the issues that build into the question of competence, Iraq and paternalistic majoritarianism remain the key indicators. I’ve written enough about the latter, but I haven’t written much about Iraq because I haven’t had much to say that isn’t elsewhere. But I should clarify my position. In the buildup to the war, I was deferential to the administration’s claims of WMD proof. I was foolish to trust so blindly. I was politically and historically ignorant, failing to heed the examples shown through history where this president’s grandiose vision was misguided and unlikely to succeed. As a voter, knowing better was my responsibility, and I failed.
Once the war started, though, the only logical choice was victory. We created the mess, so we had to finish it. President Bush and the Congress failed miserably at that important task. With its lack of accountability and avoidance of the truth, Republicans in power abandoned their duty. Three years in, with victory nowhere close, it’s apparent that President Bush is incapable or unwilling to win. Republicans in Congress have been complicit. This must change.
I do not believe Democrats will be better. But I know the path we’re on will not bring us victory and a safer world. The choice is between known and unknown. Maybe the unknown will be worse, but following the known will lead to defeat. How much more dangerous will that make the world? I do not want to find out. It’s time for the president’s current enablers to go.
I don’t expect majority status to change Democrats into a party of ideas. I believe they’ll cut and run. Where we’re at, that’s probably best. I’ll expect the best, with a return to leadership. I will not be surprised if it doesn’t. But the choice now is between finding confirmation in ideology and finding truth in facts. Republicans won’t accept reality. Democrats might. Today, that’s all I have.