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Senate Results Are Harshest Repuke to Bush

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Jane Hamsher says it best at Firedoglake this morning as she weighs in with this gem: "The most powerful woman in US history. Two words guaranteed to reduce any wingnut to a puddle of piss - Speaker Pelosi." As MSNBC's Chris Matthews might say, "Ha!" Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has a nice ring to it as well. And while the stunning Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives is absolutely huge, the biggest repudiation of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Karl Rove and their whole corrupt, sick agenda, is what will be a glorious 51-49 Democratic majority in the United States Senate. Simply looking at nominations made by the executive branch illustrates the enormity of the filtering mechanism that the Senate is suppose to represent and how things will change now that Congress's upper chamber will no longer simply take everything coming out of the White House and allow it to pass like a hot knife through butter. The incredibly ill-advised appointment of John Bolton to be America's chief diplomat at the United Nations would have been killed quickly with a Democratic majority, instead of being blocked by filibuster, which ultimately led to Bush defying Congress and installing Bolton in a recess appointment. On the U.S. Supreme Court, Senior Associate Justice John Paul Stevens is 86 years old, raising the likelihood that Bush – assuming he is not impeached -- would be in the position of appointing yet another ultraconservative judge to replace the liberal-leaning Stevens. How's that for a thought to make you lose your lunch? With Democrats controlling the Senate Judiciary Committee and the progress of any Supreme Court nominee to the floor of the Senate, and 51 Democrats awaiting any Bush pick if he or she should reach a full vote, Bush will be neutered in any attempt to push the high court even farther to the right. This also applies to federal judges, which receive a fraction as much attention as a Supreme Court nominee but also directly impact the quality and character of the American legal system. Democrats will also control committees, which shines a huge spotlight on the Senate Intelligence Committee in particular which, with the exception of Democratic stalwart Russ Feingold (D-WI) raising hell on a regular basis, has spent the majority of the last two years asleep at the switch and turning a blind eye to Bush and Cheney doing Constitution-busting things like spying on Americans without required warrants. With sleepy Pat Roberts (R-KS) at the helm, the Intelligence Committee has decided that an overwhelming body of evidence that Americans were lied into the Iraq war wasn't worth even talking about and that taking seriously the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission might interfere with the committee members' daily golf date a the Neocon Country Club. With Democratic wins by Jim Webb and Jon Tester in Virginia and Montana, respectively – and watch for the GOP election-stealing mechanism to kick into high gear on those victories – the Senate can awaken from its long Republican slumber and actually begin paying attention to the nonsense coming out of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Wow. Advice and consent. Oversight. How are those for some wild concepts? Update: It has just been announced that, with the writing freshly-written on the wall, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is resigning. Which means the person nominated to replace Rumsfeld will have to go through... a Democratic Senate.


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Bob Geiger is a writer, activist and Democratic operative in Westchester County, NY.
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