Apologies to all (three) of my readers for a rather extended break. I was sick on Monday and work kept me busy both yesterday and most of today. I will now be returning to regular blogging - at least until I take a bit of time off for the holidays.
I'm going to start off with a bit of navel-gazing. If you're looking for hard news and/or commentary, I'll get to that soon enough. Be patient.
So the Liberal Blogosphere has felt rather quite lately. I certainly haven't helped fill the void. My posts have been fewer, shorter, and further between for some weeks now.
On its surface, this seems unlikely. The Iraq Study Group Report, a new Secretary of Defense (and the retiring of Don Rumsfeld), a war becoming less popular, less successful, and less sustainable, Iraqi politics... There are so many things that should be drawing our attention.
But they're not.
I think that in some ways it's a kind of delayed 'let-down' after the November elections. The run-up to these elections was a time of hyper-activity for us and a time of tremendous stress. Hoping that our hope wouldn't be crushed, seeing all the signs of victory yet being to conditioned to having the rug pulled out from under us a la John Kerry '04 to really trust our feelings or enjoy the ride.
Then there was the fact that it took a couple of days to see who actually won. The last seat wasn't actually filled until yesterday.
By the time that Allen conceded, reviews of Diebold machines were taken, Republican dirty tricks were discussed, political strategy was analyzed, and lessons were identified, we - as a blogosphere - were exhausted. There was bound to be a let-down.
On top of that, after the elections we found ourselves in uncharted and unfamiliar territory. For me (and I would assume most of us) our entire blogging experience has been under the cloud of Bush/GOP dominance of our government. All of a sudden, the political world has shifted. As 'Lefty' bloggers, we are faced with challenges: The old model - documenting the errors, crimes, and failures of the Bush Administration and the GOP 'rubber stamp' Congress - is no longer viable. For so long we had had one problem. The people controlling our government had ideas, values, agendas and goals vastly different from our own.
Now we have a multitude of problems.
First, the Legislative branch is controlled by 'our people.' No longer is the solution "vote them out of office." We must hold our own party members accountable. We have to find ways to get the people that supposedly share our mindset to demonstrate that.
Additionally, we must actually govern.
Part of governing is oversight. We should and will actively investigate the crimes and excesses of the Bush Administration. We also have to clean up the mess that the former caretakers of government left us. Ethics rules, oversight committees, lobbying rules, and ear mark reform are all areas that must be addressed. But we also must pass laws, make and pass budgets and provide the services needed to run a super power.
The people that brought Democrats to power - both Liberals and Moderates - expect all of those things from us. But that's hard. And we can't start until January.
For the most part, 'Politics' is on hold until the new year. Everybody knows that the real show begins when Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid actually are the leaders of their respective bodies, not just 'Leaders in Waiting.' Everything until then is political time-filler.
So there really isn't that much to talk about - except the War in Iraq.
The War in Iraq - as far as domestic politics are concerned - is in a similar state of flux. The ISG was supposed to provide a 'new way forward' but George W. Bush balked (one assumes) at the perception of failure. Now we have to wait for the New Year to hear him announce his new Iraq strategy in a speech to the nation.
(I'll let W. himself explain the delay to the brave men and women killed or injured between now and then.)
The Culture War rages on. "The War on Christmas" dominates the current battle field but both 'sides' of this brouhaha are so well established that they don't inspire much more than "oh god, are they still at this?"
So we sit and wait for January with both excitement and trepidation.
For the last year, this blog has focused on documenting the errors of the Republican Party and it's various affiliated groups and individuals. As the GOP falls out of power, they will, in a manner of speaking, stop making errors because they'll stop being the ones making the decisions. What then will be the focus of 300 Dollar Wonder? I'm not sure.
The Bush Administration stays in power and will undoubtedly continue to bungle their way froward, mistake after mistake, until 2008. I will continue to write about it. The War in Iraq will continue to be an issue I will address. I hope that I will be able to turn the same eye for bad government onto a Democratic House and Senate. Then there's the 2008 Presidential Horse Race just around the corner...
Which of these will become the focus? My guess is that it will be a combination of all of them. I'm not making plans. I'm just going to continue to write about what inspires me to write.
Hopefully all (three) of you will continue to read.