Tonight I’m not going to dip into the news too much nor am I going to write a lot. This was just a thought I had about the political process.
Over the last two days General David Petraeus testified in front of Congress and late today it was learned President Bush is expected to announce troop cuts on Thursday to reduce the forward force in Iraq by 30,000. At that point we would be back to “pre-surge” levels as far as staffing goes. Of course as one would expect, Nancy Pelosi and company bitched and whined about not getting out immediately. Anyone who reads monoblogue on a regular basis knows my position, so I’ll not restate it here.
Most of the 110th Congress has been spent arguing over how many troops we have in Iraq anyway, so what’s a few more months of caterwauling on that? Never mind that most of the appropriations bills aren’t done yet. I suppose as far as the Democrats are concerned the less time spent on figuring out where the money goes the higher chance that some devious way of expanding government can be slipped into the budget bills.
With primary elections now spanning a time period 8 to 10 months before the general election, the traditional moratorium on big issues being tackled during an election year makes the next 16 months until we swear in the winner of the 2008 Presidential election a period where little good will come out of Congress. All of the domestic issues that have been eclipsed by the constant bidding by the legislative branch to do the executive’s job and run the military aren’t going to go away, or worse, they’ll simply have more money shoved at them without getting the badly needed reforms in return.
I hear a lot about a lack of interest in politics, particularly on the Republican side. Pundits have all but written off the chances Republicans will win back Congress and look at whoever the GOP nominee will be as just a sacrificial lamb, simply getting in the way of a triumphant Clinton return to the White House. Sometimes I wonder if this Bataan Death March of a campaign isn’t contributing to the apathy on our side. We’ve heard about Election 2008 for months already because of the absurdly early primary schedule. (It’s a good thing I write about other stuff too because I’d be completely burned out by now otherwise.)
A good way of summing up my thought about how the next year of Congress will play out is this: should Wayne Gilchrest lose in the GOP primary he will be a lame duck for almost half his elected term, 10 1/2 months. But I suppose one bright side to this process is that people with nothing to lose and knowing they have a limited time may decide to show true leadership on issues to create a legacy.
Ok, I’m dreaming. But it is nice to do so once in awhile because in reality we’re going to remember the 110th Congress as a do-nothing Congress that if anything made our situation worse. Don’t look for a change on that in the next year either.