Dems Clean Up
by Geraldo Rivera | Nov 08, 2006
The Democratic wave that washed over American politics last night swamped several Republicans who tried to use the issue of illegal immigration to scare people into voting for them. I delighted to say they got their butts kicked.
The rejection of the politics of reaction was evident almost everywhere, especially in Arizona where big, blustery GOP congressman J.D. Hayworth and conservative Republican candidate Randy Graf both basically adopted the hard-line, anti-immigration position advocated by vigilante groups like the Minuteman, and in their campaigns had railed constantly against our porous border with Mexico, and urged no mercy for illegals.
Their defeat is a victory for those advocating comprehensive, compassionate immigration reform. A post-election survey released yesterday suggests a strong link between the overwhelming participation in the huge and mostly spontaneous rallies for immigration reform on streets of cities from coast to coast last summer, and how Spanish-Americans voted yesterday.
Because House Republican candidates campaigned so aggressively against any immigration reform except for that lame, new 700-mile fence along the border, the 17 million Hispanics now eligible to vote in this country punished them. In fact, by becoming the anti-immigration party, the GOP may have helped keep the vast majority of that huge Latino voting bloc in the Democratic column for the foreseeable future.
The election was also a victory for progressive senate candidates advocating stem-cell research, like Missouri Democrat Claire McCaskill, who was propelled to victory when snot-nosed Rush Limbaugh made fun of Parkinson patient Michael J. Fox's symptoms.
And the election focused all of us on the war in Iraq, which 60% of voters leaving the polls yesterday said they opposed. I'm telling you folks; we should all urge the president to call on the Iraqi people to vote on whether or not they want us to stay. And if not, start packing our bags.
In the meantime, with Democrats seizing control of the House investigative committees, they should turn those proven pit bulls like Waxman of California and Dingell of Michigan loose on the alleged war profiteers...companies like Halliburton which have billed the government for billions for reconstruction work in Iraq without adequately accounting for where all that money went.
The new leaders in Congress should also continue to scour corruption; especially, the malignant relationship between lobbyists and elected officials like Tom Delay, Curt Weldon, William Jefferson, Bob Ney and others.
Ethical probes should also be aggressively pursued to root out exactly what the nature of the relationship was between Congressmen like Mark Foley and Jim Kolbe and the kids in the page program.
And while they're at it, they should investigate how those Big Oil companies managed to make so much money this summer, astonishing profits, only to watch the price of gasoline mysteriously collapse as the election approached.
Also of profound importance, the incoming 110th Congress of the United States should work in a bi-partisan way finally to raise the national minimum wage. It has been a pathetic $5.15 an hour for almost ten years. The price of everything else has almost doubled since then, and in 2006 no family can survive on that kind of money.
Mostly, I want this new congress to be honest, open-minded and fair.