A few days ago, the Republican reign of error in the Capitol officially came to an end. Denny Hastert gave a speech recounting the supposed achievements under his watch, and it had a definite pathetic air to it.
But look back into the not distant future and ask, what the hell happened since 9-11?
Look at how people such as myself and others, who warned since day one that invading Iraq was insane and an invitation to disaster were branded as un-American, hating America, traitors, or worse. It wasn't that long ago. Krugman has a column in the NY Times that cites some who had it right from the beginning, including Howard Dean, Nancy Pelosi, and Barack Obama, who said,
“I don’t oppose all wars. What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war. What I am opposed to is the cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and other armchair, weekend warriors in this administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and in hardships borne.”Look at the hysteria, fanned and encouraged by Bush and his ilk, where dozens of politicians and pundits constantly pointed out how Muslims were somehow robotic killers whose only motivation was that they "hated freedom" and that the only way we could defend ourselves was by giving ours away.
Recall that 6 short years ago, our country actually was operating with a SURPLUS, taking in more money than it spent, promising the prospect of continued economic soundness and fiscal solvency.
We almost accept the through the looking glass bizarreness of political life today, the attempts to subvert and ignore the supreme law of the land, the constitution, the hare-brained and multi-billion dollar attempts at making our "homeland" secure, the billions of dollars wasted and outright stolen by corporations, many who didn't exist before we invaded Iraq, through no bid, cost plus contracts.
The entire way of doing business in congress was perverted by Bush, Hastert, Delay, Frist, and the rest. They decided that they didn't have to so much as even talk to the minority party, and so they didn't, operating as if they didn't exist, thereby uterlly ignoring the wishs of at least half the population represented by Dems.
In the Republican congress, it was decided that they would spend their time dithering over divisive issues which weren't on anyone's list of top priorities except extreme fundementalist theocons, wingnuts, and Karl Rove, such as flag burning, renaming french fries, stem cells, Terri Shiavo, and anything to do with gays. They spent what little time they did work on naming post offices and left the crafting of legislation to the lobbyists.
This list is long and shocking as the Republicans embarked on a plan for a one party government and behaved with the abuse of power and arrogance as though they were untouchable.
Will Americans be able to learn a lesson from their descent into mass hypnosis and fear induced stupidity? Could it happen again?
Now the public has tossed them out on their collective ears, with reputable reports stating that if it weren't due to election irregularities and problems with electronic voting machines, the Dems would have picked up far more seats than they did.
And if you were a lemming-like rah-rah supporter of the Iraq disaster, and routinely called those who opposed it traitors, or accused them of somehow not "supporting the troops", or even if you were too damn cowardly and afraid to speak up yourself, even if you had a gut feeling it was a huge blunder, the next time you see someone who had it right from the start on Iraq and spoke out about it, appologize for not listening and acknowledge that they were right. (of course, right wingers are as incapable of admitting error as their leader Bush, so don't hold your breath.)
What other atrocities of the Republican era can you recount?
And looking forward, what changes do you expect to happen in a Democratic congress? What things would you most want to see happen? What damage from the past 6 years needs to be repealed and repaired first and how?