Yes, Virginia, there is an ex-Senator Macacawitz

by Ogi Overman

All together now, breeeeeeathe. The collective sigh of relief is almost palpable, isn’t it? The knot in my stomach is no more, the spring in my step has returned, there is hope in the world again.

I slept well last Wednesday night. It was almost like Christmas Eve when you’ve already peeked in the closet and know you’re getting that train set and bicycle and football suit. It was in stark contrast to the previous evening, when I stayed up as long as possible waiting for those last three states to come in. I even left the TV on in the bedroom, waking up around 4 a.m. but not able to get a bleary-eyed commentator to tell me about Missouri, Montana and Virginia. Finally, the next morning the CNN scroll revealed that McCaskill had beaten Talent in Missouri, but the other two were still too close to call. Gradually Tester pulled slightly ahead in Montana, leaving Sen. Macacawitz holding the balance of power in the Senate. Later that day he did the right thing and conceded, signaling the beginning of the end of a six-year nightmare.

Note I said beginning of the end; taking back the legislative branch is a good start but hardly the end game in taking back our country from the rogue’s gallery in the executive branch. Much work remains – so much so, in fact, that it’s difficult to know where to start. Undoing the damage done by the Duh may take generations, but at least we’ve got him on the run. Oh, that trademark smirk is still there but not quite as menacing as before. He can still lie straight-faced but he knows nobody is buying his line of hooey anymore.

And yes, I know it’s tacky to gloat, but allow me one more shot before I move on (dot org). Did anyone notice that when Bush was on the campaign trail, taking off his jacket and tie and trying to look like a man of the people, every time he waved he had huge perspiration spots under his arms? Sure, he was trying to appeal to the great unwashed but isn’t actually being unwashed taking it a bit too far?

Just had to get that out; I’m all better now.

Looking to the immediate future, my Democratic brethren need to dip into the Bush bag o’ tricks and strike preemptively. He is going to try to ram through as much legislation as the lame-duck Congress will allow, and the new majority needs to flex its newfound muscle even before being sworn in. While we’re patting ourselves on the back, he’s frantically trying to get his domestic spying bill enacted, keep his tax cuts for the upper first percentile in place and get UN faux ambassador Bolton confirmed. They can block all the above by telling their defeated opponents if they ever want to resurrect their political careers they’d better follow the will of the people. And the people have let it be known that they don’t like having their phones tapped, e-mails intercepted and bank records commandeered; that tax cuts for the wealthy at the expense of the middle class are unconscionable; and that, well, Bolton is just as idiot. (I mean, a guy who dyes his hair but not his moustache is not fooling anybody.)

The moment the new Congress is sworn in, the Dems better have a plan already in place to get the hell out of Iraq. First priority, end it and end it now. Joe Biden’s had a plan for awhile, and now that he’s got some power as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, put it in place.

Second priority, repeal the Military Commissions Act of 2006. This act that obliterated the most fundamental American right of habeas corpus, the right to face your accuser, is the most grievous constitutional transgression of the several committed by the Bush administration. And if he vetoes it, begin impeachment proceedings.

Third, use your subpoena power liberally and call for Congressional hearings on any number of acts of malfeasance, corruption, dereliction of duty, abuse of power and arrant dishonesty. Take your pick; there are dozens to choose from. The Congress is supposed to oversee the executive branch, so do it. I can hear the documents being shredded from K Street to Capitol Hill to Pennsylvania Avenue already.

Then, perhaps we can turn our attention to all the problems that have gotten sublimated because of Bush’s pathological obsession with Iraq. Again, take your pick: national health insurance, stem cell research, global warming, alternative energy development, reducing the deficit, securing our ports, railways and nuclear facilities, social security, minimum wage hikes, an equitable immigration policy, repealing NAFTA and CAFTA.

I could go on, but that should keep ’em busy for a couple of years. Then it’ll be time to replace the Duh with a Dem.

Ogi may be reached at, heard Tuesdays at 9:30 am on “The Dusty Dunn Show” on WGOS 1070 AM, and seen on “Triad Today” Fridays at 6:30 am on ABC 45 and Sundays at 10 pm on WMYV 48.