Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The More Things Change...

A regular column from our American chum.

Well, big news today from your former colonies. The Democrats have taken control of the House and quite possibly the Senate. I am very excited by it, and not because I think much is likely to change. After all, that's the way the system is meant to work. Outside of a supermajority in Congress like the Republicans had after the Civil War, our system is designed to stifle radical change (our founding fathers took the lesson of Athens and the Mytiline debate to heart). And with the razor-thin majority the Democrats won, I don't expect them to be able to make any significant moves.

Rather, I am excitied today because of the shock I expect this will send through the corridors of the White House. Our executive branch was beginning to fancy itself a little bit too much like your executive branch (e.g., HRH ERII). The idea that referendums can occur more than every four years, that power must be shared among three branches and can be reassessed every two years by the people--this is likely an alien concept to Bush & Co. So what will happen today, as they wake up on Mars? Initial platitudes about bipartisanship, of course, but I expect by March we will see fierce and intractable gridlock and deadlock in Washington. Power is never surrendered easily.

Given all the challenges before us--budget deificits, the war in Iraq, rising healthcare and entitlement costs, education, transportation infrastructure, and clearly divisive social issues--many would argue deadlock is the last thing we need. But I would disagree. I will take checks and balances over imperial presidencies any day. We must always remember that when our government can't get anything done, it is working just the way the founders intended. 200 years later, and the system still works--so a great day indeed!

The Minuteman

No comments: