The Ultimate GOP Fantasy
The Republican victory on Tuesday was more substantial than people realize. Aside from winning both the popular and the electoral votes for the presidency, the Republicans now hold control of the Senate by 10 seats, the House of Representatives by 30 seats, and the National Governors Association by seven seats. In addition, four Supreme Court Justices are over 70 years old, with Chief Justice Rehnquist, at 80, currently being treated for cancer.
Enter Bush Junior. As a second-term president, he will quite likely never appear on another ballot. He only has history to hold him back. With such complete control of the three branches of government, here are some things for which Democrats will have to prepare:
First and foremost, President Bush will make the tax cuts permanent. And not the Kerry-esque tax cuts, either. He will reward the loyalty of those who voted for him by, quite literally, putting money in their pockets. Expect heavy tax cuts to the top two-percent of the population, with a slight amount thrown to the rest of us.
Then there's the issue of gay marriage. I spoke with one of my gay friends back in Georgia, and he is simply scared of the conservative power. The ban on gay marriage was put on the ballot in 11 states and it passed in all of them. If that's not a rude awakening for civil rights advocates, I don't know what is.
While Karl Rove was able to get more evangelical voters to the polls in the battleground states, Alaska voted Republican for a different reason. Theirs is a wet Republican dream of power and money; they want to drill the Alaskan National Wildlife Reserve for oil. Want independence from foreign old? Drill ANWR. Forget that it's our largest oil reserve and should only be used in cases of emergency. Forget that using it now would be tapping into the oil reserves of our children. Securing liberty for our posterity never seemed to be a Republican cause. Alaska's message to the president was to drill ANWR and make us rich.
Remember the assault weapons ban that recently expired? And how Congress was reluctant to renew it under pressure from the gun lobby? Don't bet on the ban ever coming back. Now, don't think our representatives are evil because of their stance this issue; they're just wrong. They don't think terrorists should have guns, so they're not removing all gun checks. Congressmen are just making weapons more readily available to the public; all kinds of weapons. Feeling safe yet?
Then there's abortion, Roe v. Wade, and the Supreme Court. Bush will most certainly have at least one and up to four judicial appointments to make to the Supreme Court. With Rehnquist on the verge of retirement, nothing is stopping Bush from appointing an ultra-conservative judge to the Supreme Court. During his first term, he put limits on abortion. What's the worst-case scenario for Bush's second term? Full government control of women's wombs, courtesy of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Ashcroft.
Bush's ownership society comes last, though certainly not least, on my laundry-list of potential Republican actions. Privatizing federal programs sounded good during the campaign, but its hidden consequences are dire. An ownership society implies an end to taxes on savings, investments, real estate and stocks. This loss of revenue would have to be made up by the federal government, which means a shift to an increased income tax. Namely, taxes to the middle and lower classes will be increased. But that's okay -- just work hard and strike it rich, that way you can enjoy the benefits of upper-class tax cuts. Good luck!
Many essays will be written on the Democrats' missteps that led to Kerry's Nov. 2 defeat. The outcome, however, is certain. In addition to a mandate from God in which Bush has always believed, he can now also claim a mandate from the people. We the people actually voted for the laundry-list of "Republican dreams" outlined above. Having gone through the "democracy" stage of our current political cycle, we are now powerless against Bush. Sit back and enjoy the ride.