karl_lembke (karl_lembke) wrote,
karl_lembke
karl_lembke

Election post mortem

Well, the election has come and gone, and the result has been a turnover right in line with historical averages for the sixth year of a Presidential term.
The Democrats have taken over the House, and may have the Senate by the end of the day.
Congratulations.
The vote didn't go the way I wanted it to, but it did go.
And things have already started to change for the better. All the worries about voter fraud, voter intimidation, defective voting machines, lost memory cards, and other events that might distort the vote have vanished with the morning dew. Now that Democrats are in control, elections are clean, smoothly run, and free of taint.
What are some other changes we can expect to see?

Well, for one thing, the economy will improve drastically.
The current low unemployment rate and inflation rate will be a good thing, and not a sign of masses of discouraged workers and a stagnating economy. The current high stock index prices will now signal a booming economy, and not a bubble, or the result of gouging Halliburton and the oil companies.
I suspect that Iraq will turn around overnight. We'll be inundated with accounts of major reconstruction, stories of heroism in the military, and testimony from people who not only voted, but ran in the first free elections in decades.
Women's rights groups will celebrate the greater freedom enjoyed by Iraqi women, though they may warn that we have far to go.

One serious point, though.
Democrats now have control of the legislative branch. Now, the hard part: they have to run it. There are any number of promises that were made or implied, which constituents may well try to hold them to.

For example, will Democrats work to pull troops out of Iraq? How quickly?
Will they pull out even if their intelligence shows the result will be a bloodbath at best? Recently, Nasrallah, the head of Hezbollah, gave a televised speech:
When I talk about an [American] failure, I’m not saying that the Americans’ plan for the region has collapsed, and that they are packing up their things and leaving, like what happened in the final days in Vietnam. But I would like to tell you clearly... I am one of those people who see a very clear picture. In our childhood... When we were young boys... I cannot forget the sight of the American forces leaving Vietnam in helicopters, which carried their officers and soldiers. Some Vietnamese, who had fought alongside the Americans, tried to climb into these helicopters, but the [Americans] threw them to the ground, abandoned them, and left. This is the sight I anticipate in our region, but I am not saying it will happen in months. It will take years. The Americans will gather their belongings and leave this region - the entire region. They have no future whatsoever in our region. They will leave the Middle East, and the Arab and Islamic worlds, like they left Vietnam. I advise all those who place their trust in the Americans to learn the lesson of Vietnam, and to learn the lesson of the South Lebanese Army with the Israelis, and to know that when the Americans lose this war – and lose it they will, Allah willing - they will abandon them to their fate, just like they did to all those who placed their trust in them throughout history.
link
The evidence is that if we pull out of Iraq now, our enemies will consider that a great victory, and it will send a message to the world that U.S. support is not to be trusted, and can vanish at a moment's notice.
If the change in course after this election results in the abandonment of the Iraqi government and people, it will have consequences. Responsible leaders will be forced to weigh these possible consequences, and may wind up being forced into decisions their base won't like.

And there will be other policies which the Democrats may well be forced to leave in place. Maybe the meme of "It's our policy now so that makes it OK" will fly. On the other hand, maybe the Democrat base will want to see real changes, and object when they're not forthcoming.
Tags: politics
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