Democrats should learn from history

Still reeling from the nastiest political campaign since, well, since ever, the nation could do with a little civility. Of course, if you’ve frequented this particular piece of real estate before, you’d know it isn’t going to come from me. I will never understand a group of people that casts ballots based upon which candidates have promised to take the most from one group to give it to another group that they’ve decided is more deserving of it than the people it was taken from.

Of course, it’s only an equal amount of conservative stupidity that keeps liberal politicians afloat. Only when it comes to winning do Republicans suddenly morph into populists, to wit: They won’t like us unless we give them what they want.

For example, in 2000, when the U.S. Senate was divided and Republicans enjoyed a one-vote majority, Republicans “played nice” and divided the Senate committees equally between Democrats and Republicans. Of course, the moment then-Republican Jim Jeffords became a turncoat “Independent"—splitting the Senate 49-50-1 a year later—Democrats predictably turned around and foisted an all-Democratic majority on every Senate committee.

A decade has passed since Newt Gingrich and the Republicans produced the Jaws of Life to wrest control of the House of Representatives after a half-century of Democratic control. In the recent election, more Republicans were elected to the House than in any election since 1946.

With the exception of the lecherous buffoon from Arkansas, whose new presidential library has become the first in history to feature an “adults-only” section, Republicans have controlled the White House for a quarter-century. Of course, Bill Clinton got into office on a technicality with 42 percent of the vote. (That’s what used to be called a “mandate” in Democratic Party circles.)

Still, Republican politicians simply can’t grasp that they are now the majority party and Democrats are going the way of the dodo.

Of the 375 judicial appointments President Clinton made, only one was denied confirmation by a Republican-controlled Senate. Yet former Minority Leader Sen. Tom Daschle of South Dakota assured his colleagues that filibustering President Bush’s judicial nominees was a winning strategy that would help them take back the Senate, and that in the next Congress they wouldn’t have to filibuster nominees because the nominees would never see the light of day.

That strategy lost—big-time.

Enter Nevada’s own Sen. Harry Reid, now the minority leader for the 109th Congress. He said that Democrats were prepared to filibuster the president’s judicial nominees just as they did in the last Congress. It should be noted that Reid held up approval for 175 Bush administration nominees for federal positions until his staff adviser, Gregory Jaczko, was given a temporary seat on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Then he had the unmitigated gall to say, “One of the myths out there is Democrats have held up the president’s judges. We haven’t done that.”

In the recent election, Daschle had his head handed to him because he was considered an obstructionist to President Bush’s judicial nominees. Activist judges (read: Massachusetts), you may recall, are one reason this election was so hotly contested. After all, liberals can’t win when Americans are allowed to vote on an issue, so they force-feed their inane ideas through the court system.

Yet Sen. Reid, secure for six more years, had this to say: “I don’t think [Democrats] need to change. I think we need to project who we are better.”

From where I sit, the Democrats project who they are and what they stand for quite well. That’s their problem.