All politics is local, goes that old saw, and while I suppose that is true, I wonder why we don't bring it into the age of the atomized individual and say, All politics is personal. The deep alienation of Americans from their leaders doubtless results from the failure of politicians and government panels even vaguely to respond to the people--if only to educate them--even while they toady up to individuals with the wealth and influence either to help their permanent campaign fund and appeal to people's baser emotions in an effort to get them voting--or not--in discrete demographic packets--security, formerly soccer, moms, Nascar dads Evangelicals, white racists and so on. That works until national and global events begin to weigh palpably on people, as they do now, as do the lies, deceits, corruptions, hypocrisies, and bad policies of the people in power--in short, until major issues become localized and the rot in government agencies becomes oppressive. What's never addressed, however, is the fundamental disconnect between people and government. Our Congresswoman seems fairly good , as these things go, but we never had the opportunity to vote for or against because she, a Democrat, won her primary unopposed and was unopposed in the general election. What obligation could she possibly feel to us?
Thus, we have a political class perpetually out of synch in policy, if not talk, with the people. More than Iraq, the most glaring example of this failure is health insurance, where the vast majority of people want a single-payer, national health plan, where study after study has touted its benefits, but where politicians run in the opposite direction. The new Democratic Congress will be no different. Nor do I expect it to do what it should--impeach Cheney and Bush and pack them off to the Hague, along with their subordinates, to be tried for crimes against humanity and war crimes. That's unlikely--equally unlikely is a rollback of the torture bill or even a withdrawal from Iraq.
But impeachment of Cheney/Bush after the new Congress convenes in in January would make the Speaker of the House, probably Nancy Pelosi, president. I don't know how she would do, but I have long maintained that anyone who is anyone in a certain indescribable sort of way has some connection, however tenuous, to Baltimore--if only to know what a "zink" is and what to do when the "sore" ruptures--I'll skip for now the sly commentary on those Baltimore documentaries, Pink Flamingos and Hair Spray. Pelosi's Baltimore pedigree is beyond devo. She is the daughter of mayor Thomas "Tommy" D'Alessandro and the sister of mayor Thomas "Tommy" D'Alessandro, Jr. We can only hope that she has not forgotten white marble steps, painted screens, or Formstone.