"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)

10.17.2006

the pendulum swings

You can almost hear the Democrats salivating at the thought of taking over the House of Representatives three weeks from tonight. Certainly the c.w. is pointing that way. And as much as the thought of Nancy Pelosi as Speaker frightens me ("Terrifies" might be a better word. She doesn't understand middle America and runs the risk of squandering an opportunity to clean up some of this mess we're in.), the thought of a divided government, with different parts controlled by different parties, would be a huge relief.

See, I'm a big fan of checks and balances. And power sharing. And compromise. Checks and balances are one of the geniuses of our constitution precisely because they prevent any one branch from becoming too powerful. It's the same with electoral politics. I never vote a straight ticket for one side or the other, because I'm convinced that having one party totally in control of both houses of Congress and the executive branch (or the state legislature, or the city council) is almost always a recipe for disaster. In such a situation, politicians of one party can do whatever they want, which doesn't make for good public policy. It's infinitely better to debate, compromise, and hammer out a solution that represents the interests of more Americans.

We're still three weeks out. The Democrats still have plenty of chances to mess this up, and I don't doubt their capacity to do so. The Republicans have a lot more money to pour into campaigns in these last, crucial, few weeks. But the momentum has shifted away from single-party rule in our country, and for that I'm grateful.

Meanwhile, I'm pondering whether a write-in vote for Mack Brown would be better than the alternatives in the Texas gubernatorial race. At least he's accomplished something in the last seven years.

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