OK, I’ll admit up front that this post has precious little connection to LDS matters. But hear me out.
Have either the Democrats or the Republicans learned nothing from the last few years? Back in 94 and then slowly over the following years Democrats lost strong control of the legislative branches of government. A lot of that was due to a perception of elitism, corruption, and out of control spending and growth of government. There was a real perception that they sought power for power’s sake. Then Republicans got in power and quickly did exactly the same thing Democrats did. Corruption, expansion of government, and earmarks “bribing” their constituents. They were justifiably thrown out.
So what are both parties doing? Well Trent Lott who was booted out of Senate leadership for racially and political stupid comments is back. This is the guy, when some Republicans and Democrats the last year were trying to control earmarks (i.e. bribes of constituents) say, “I’ll just say this about the so-called Porkbusters. I’m getting damn tired of hearing from them. They have been nothing but trouble ever since Katrina.” He isn’t a reformer. He embodies all that went wrong in the Republican party. And the house minority leader competition doesn’t look much better.
But are the Democrats doing any better? No. We have Murtha being pushed by Pelosi and who is little better than Lott in terms of ridiculous spending. Weren’t the Democrats running on not being the Republicans? And it’s now looking like Alcee Hastings is seriously being considered as head of the intelligence committee. This is a guy kicked off the bench for accepting $150,000 in bribes to let some mafioso off the hook. The reasons for this (his appointment, not the being kicked off the bench) are a bit complex. The Black Caucus wants a member in a key role in the new government since Jefferson was arrested on bribery charges this year. (You remember him, the $80,000 in the freezer?) Understandable, but don’t you think they’d want someone not caught accepting bribes from the mafia?
Now you’d think Democrats, after seeing what a mess of things the Republicans did would be at least a little more intelligent. But by and large a lot of the regular old gang from ’94 is coming back. Despite lip service to reform the Democrats appear to have learned nothing from the Republicans. There is almost a sense that if they can end the Iraq war that nothing else matters. Even gun control is starting to get pushed among some circles. Have they learned nothing?