This first bit of Robert Reich’s essay about the future of Capitol Hill makes my heart sing….
…in the likely possibility they’ll win the 15 seats they need in November — for how to use their coming majority to showcase the Bush administration in all its lurid awfulness.
Imagine an endless parade of witnesses offering shocking details of Abu Graib, Guantanamo, torture camps, Cheney’s secret energy task force, payoffs to Halliburton, rigged electronic voting booths, Katrina, Valerie Plame, CIA failures, Defense Department usurpations, Iraq’s descent into civil war, and other coverups, deceptions, data manipulations, silencings, suppressions of science, crass incompetencies, outright corruption. Out of all of these hearings, he said, would comes a bill of particulars so damning that every 2008 Democratic candidate running for everything from Indianapolis city council to U.S. president will be swept into office on a rip tide of public outrage.
SWEET! Heads rolling in the hallways! Aisles slick with the blood of the guilty! War Crimes Trials in the Hague! Let’s dig up Tom DeLay’s corpse and put him on trial, too!
Reich proposes some common sense, nuts and bolts solutions to getting the country back on track, which is the real battle we have in front of us. It’s going to take a 21st Century version of the New Deal to fix the mess Bush has wrought:
I told him House Dems should use the two years instead to lay the groundwork for a new Democratic agenda. Bring in expert witnesses. Put new ideas on table. Frame the central issues boldly. Don’t get caught up in arid policy-wonkdom.
For example, instead of framing basic economic question as whether to roll back Bush’s tax cuts, make it how to recreate good jobs at good wages and rebuild the middle class. Consider ideas for doing this through trade policy, industrial policy, antitrust, publicly-financed research and development, and stronger trade unions.
Instead of framing central foreign-policy question as whether we should have invaded Iraq, make it how to partition Iraq into Shiite, Suni, and Kurdish zones while America gets out. Focus the national security debate on how to control loose nukes and fissile material, and secure American ports. Open direct negotiations with North Korea and Iran.
On energy and the environment, they should offer ideas for developing new non-fossil based energy industries in America, and how to ratify a realistic Kyoto accord.
See, this is probably good government, and not a bad plan….
but god, I’d miss seeing the look on Bush’s face as he was dragged into the dock at the Hague. *sigh*
Cooler heads will prevail, god willing. Still….