Friday, October 13, 2006

It is time to get some balance back in the federal government

As you might suspect, I tend to agree more with the Democrats compared to the Republicans. Not on all issues to be sure, but a good majority of them.

But as I look at where the country is headed and the major problems looming in the distance, I can't help but think back to what happened in 1994. In that year's midterm election, President Clinton was brought back to the middle after the Republicans took control of the House. Clinton was being pulled to the left since Democrats had control of the government from 1992 to 1994. Most memorable was the national healthcare proposal that Hillary Clinton and her committee developed, and which became a symbol for big government and a bureaucratic nightmare.

In my opinion, the GOP takeover of Congress in 1994 was the best thing that could have happened during the Clinton presidency, as far as the country was concerned. It forced Clinton back to the center, which is where I think he wanted to be anyhow (the far left has just as many nuts as the far right). It brought back policymaking to the middle, which is where most Americans are. Surely, there is gridlock, and bickering, and partisan maneuvering, but at the end of the day we had checks and balances back in place that forced both sides to non-extreme policies and governing.

We are at a point where we desperately need a similar changing of the guard in Congress. The single best thing for the country is undoubtedly for the Democrats to take back at least the House. The far right has helped pull our policy away from center, and the fact that the GOP has had full control of the government for the last 6 years has created some real problems. Perhaps the biggest problem of all is the lack of checks and balances, with the executive having a nearly free reign over foreign policy. There is a near complete lack of accountability and oversight of the White House. Having such a large degree of power has led to extensive and ever expanding corruption and scandal among GOP lawmakers (and today Bob Ney has indeed submitted a guilty plea of accepting bribes, etc.). I do hope that the polling data is accurate, and that there is a legitimate chance (and some would say likely) for the Dems to win back the House, and an outside chance of winning the Senate.


Tom said...

It'd be much better for the Senate to be in the hands of the opposite party of the President (Read: Supreme Court nomination appovals). but I'll take any balance I can get.

vonny said...

Hi Tom,

I agree, but getting the House back is more likely this time around. The Senate has tended to be more thoughtful and slightly more moderate than the House the past decade (such as with flag burning, fighting back the estate tax repeal, immigration, etc), but you are definitely correct that the high court is now shifted to the right for years to come.