What wasn't NICE about that? We should expect our children to learn, not just be test savvy. We should expect our teachers to ready them for higher learning, not just squeak by on some sliding scale that pits afluent schools with those in inner-city schools.
We should see Democrats and Republicans in powerful positions within a Whitehouse no matter what the affiliation of the Executive leader - only the best of the best, not the best of the party should be in cabinette positions, but instead we hear every President who loses the Legislative branches call for Bi-Partisanship when making the laws of the land. I think it at that point when all fails: no-one works openly without bias toward the non-controlling party, no matter how logical their ideas may be, BECAUSE each time the Congress swings power, the new party in control plays CATCH-UP. Every change over is the chance to restore things the way they ere, rarely to make it better - sadly, that is what happens and we rarely see change - no matter who is in power, it is like we are always pulling out dirty underwear and putting it back on rather then grabbing fresh clothes from the closet.
It is a table-tennis game where Dems serve the ball until the Repubs score and then volley changes. In the mean time, ammendments are scripted (actually all changes in law and landscape are well prepared for submission in the even a party shift occurs) and then much of the following years, the key players try to undo what the previous leadership tried undoing from the past opposive Congress.
So it is always 2 steps back and rarely one step forward. I have a mental problem digesting such different philosophies, how could Americans divide so different on topics that involve its own people?
I agree that there are only two major parties because no one seems to think a third, forth, fifth party could win consistantly enough to expect control. Having indendants or Liberatarians, Socialists, etc., in the government in a rag-tag representation for any or several states does little to change or swing votes on any issue. Having a controlling third party is far from a pipe-dream, so it tends to stop there.
I would pose those that there must be GREAT LEADERSHIP out there somewhere without the affiliation of the two big-boys on the block. But Washington is a battle for TURF and the stakes are always high. The closest person I saw to making a difference (albeit a bad one) was Ross Perot, who I thought had a great following, much more than Enviroment and Consumer Activist Ralph Nadar who always seemed like a zombie, even when he was younger. Parot's big mistake was dragging James Stockdale (prisoner of war, as was John McCain) before the cameras: Stockdale was old and deaf and non-responsive and killed any chance of Perot moving on.
I look forward to the 2008 elections and all that leads up to it. A strong and young carasmatic man like Barack Obama knows he is going to run, he's just waiting for the dust to settle from this election. I could however wait on seeing Hillary debate - although she does a pretty good job of it (I watched her in the re-election debates for Senate) I think Obama would mop the floor with her. But the interesting thing is, these two won't trash each other, they will though trash the others who toss their hats in the ring. Obama and Hillary are going to be the Dems. answer to the Oval Office in 2008 and I don't expect anything to get in their way.
With McCain a front runner on the Repub's side, I can only imagine if the U.S. is ready to put an older candidate in the Oval Office - I think that ended with the Reagan Era. So that means, between now and mid 2007 the Repubs need to find a strong and young candidate capable of standing up to the dems. ultimate fighting machine. I haven't seen a face on the horizon yet, have you?
Hold on to your seats, hope we see someone come out that has more middle of the road conservative ideas, yet still spouts the Rightwing values that will satisfy the Conservatives, yet be enough left to sway the majority of us who fall somewhere in the middle.
If nothing else, I'm hoping for a close battle, I can't see (at least now) the Repubs. rewinning the Whitehouse. There is a snowball rolling and it is called Iraq and the new Congress will milk it for all it is worth, using their air-time on C-SPAN and all the news networks to bash what is left of the right-wing party. This is NOT how I like it, it is just how I see it.