Saturday, November 18, 2006

Good news and bad news of the election

The really good news from the recent election was that the Republicans were booted out of power. Unfortunately, the really bad news is that the Democrats are now in power. Sigh. A classic out of the frying pan and into the fire scenario.

How many times were we told by the media that the election was a referendum on Iraq? And almost the first things the Democrats do to the poster boy for the anti-war movement in Congress (Murtha) is give him a good kick in the teeth. Not to mention the fact that the voters of Connecticut picked as Senator the guy that the anti-war Democrats gave the boot to in the primary. Now, it seems like the first order of business for the Democrats has been and will be to back-pedal as rapidly as possible from passing a "troops out of Iraq now" resolution. Sure, there will be a lot of shuffling on the U.S. Iraq policy, but the likely prospect is that policy in the coming year will likely be little different than if the Republicans were in power.

There are only two forms of meaningful legislation that will be passed by Congress over the next two years: proposals that are watered down to the point where enough moderate Republicans support them to override a presidential veto and compromise proposals which require that the Democrats grant conservative Republicans and President Bush a quid pro quo on some unpalatable issues that President Bush and the Conservatives really want but the Democrats really despise. We can characterise such legislation as Democrat-Light/Republican-Light. That's bad news if you were hoping for a thoroughly Liberal agenda to "roll back" Conservative policies, but reasonably good news if you are a moderate or an Independent (me).

The main contribution of a Democratic Congress over the next two years will be to provide entertainment and great theater with a complex mix of intense drama and amusing comedy, sprinkled with occasional (and too much) tragedy. I'm sure Shakespeare would love to watch. On the other hand, he might cringe and opine that "These people have learned nothing from the works of others."

-- Jack Krupansky


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