Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Don't make it easy for them

Greyshade, commenting on the US election, points out that

The reelection of George Bush is a salutary reminder for liberals (in any sense of the word) that democracy includes "rule by people who are wrong" no less than freedom of thought includes "freedom for the thought we loathe". We must reflect that the religious right, neoconservatives, bigots and the simply stupid have the same right to determine the direction of a country as any of us.

Absolutely. There is no question that rednecks get to vote, and there is no question that they get to run the country when they are in the majority. Bush won the election fair and square, and so he will generally get to do what he likes for the next four years, within the limits proscribed by the constitution. However, that does not mean that anyone should make it easy for him. Internationally, the world should let Americans know that if their pet monkey wants to play at hegemon, he will be doing it alone. Domestically, the Democrats have means of exercising power even when in the minority, and they should use them to the full. This does not mean filibustering everything, but it does mean impeding any attempt to alter the constitutional structure (including altering the balance of power on the Supreme Court), vigorously opposing Bush's domestic policy positions, and making sure that he is held fully responsible for them. One of the reasons the Democrats lost is that they weren't willing enough to strongly advocate for their positions and stand up for what they believed in. Hopefully being backed into an electoral corner will encourage them to do just that.