December 15, 2006

Be Careful What You Wish For [Reprise]

I was snooping through my old blog and came across this golden oldie. I changed two sentences and it fits as well today as it did over a year ago.]
Historically, this country has liked to split the Executive and the Legislative branches—to give one to one party, one to the other. In fact, when Bush became President, that was how we actually voted. The Republicans took Congress and Gore very likely won the valid majority of votes for the Presidency—we’ll never know for sure since the final vote in Florida was never actually counted. [And what a way to run a democratic republic, by the way.]

The Republicans had been jockeying for control of the government for a long time. They, of course, thought they could do a better job of steering the country than the Democrats were doing [just as the Democrats think they could do better than the Republicans now.] And, in 1996, under a strong Democratic President, Congress swung over to the GOP.

While all that was happening, in 2000, I read an editorial by someone who offered his condolences to the Republican Party. He noted that, for the first time since the 1960’s, both Congress and the Presidency were about to be strongly dominated by the GOP. He observed that the Democratic Party fell out of favor with a resounding splat in the ‘60’s—when it was at its height numerically in Congress and the Presidency had been held by Democrats for some years.

The Viet Nam war was rapidly falling out of favor with the American people.
People were mad, mad, mad at President Johnson--though he wasn’t perceived as incompetent—just somewhat boorish and stubborn about Viet Nam. [We didn't realize at the time that we hadn't seen the worst, yet. That came under Nixon. (Correction: things are even worse now.)]

The point the man who wrote that op-ed was making, though, was the fact that when one party is in complete control of the country, it has no one to blame when things go south. At least, when the branches are split, each can point to the other as the culprit.

So, congratulations all you Republicans out there. You got what you wanted. And--look what happened.


TomCat said...

The early signs I see are that the Democrats may do better this time around. Harry Reid promised yesterday not to threaten to kill the filibuster the way The GOP did this year, and Nancy Pelosi kept the ethically suspect Representative Jefferson from LA off the influential Ways and means Committee.

two crows said...

those make for a good start but the day is young yet.
I don't inherently trust EITHER party--tho I generally like the dems better for obvious reasons.

still, they've been known to get too powerful and go too far, themselves. at least it took them about 40 years, last time--not a dozen.
may they not give in to that temptation this time.

as to not killing the filibuster--that's a case of not shooting yourself in the foot.
as the GOP has demonstrated--it's a good idea not to marginalize the minority party. one day you'll be it.

TomCat said...

TC, seeing hopeful signs and trusting are two different things. Were it not for corruption in the Democratic Party, the Republican Revolution of 1994 would never have happened.

It is the duty of citizens to keep watch over the behavior of our elected officials and shine light on corruption wherever possible, regardless of which party is in power.

That said, in the 40+ years that I have followed politics in our nation, I have never seen corruption so systemic as that in the current GOP.

two crows said...

that's certainly true enough.

it's the difference between the pot boiling over on the stove and a forest fire.