Saturday, July 17, 2004


Like the vast majority of Democrats, I am hoping for a Kerry-Edwards victory in the fall. In addition, I would like to win back one of the two houses of Congress. But only one. I do not want single party government for a number of reasons.

(1) Single party government promotes legislative efficiency at the expense of democratic deliberation. If you do not believe me, see as evidence the past three years.

(2) Single party government tends to trample on minority rights. Here I mean minority to refer to political, rather than racial groups.

(3) Single party government breeds arrogance in political leaders and fosters an atmosphere of infallibility.

(4) (this is the one that will get me into trouble) Unchecked political power breeds radical policy. In the current situation, this can be seen most prominently in foreign affairs and social policy. And while I do not wish to continue along this path, a country led solely by the Democratic Party would tend to be driven largely by a newly ascendant left wing within the Party.

My personal preference would be to reclaim the Senate and leave the House in GOP hands. The rationale for this is the Senate's power to confirm judicial nominees, which is important to me (obviously). But also, given the gerrymandering of House districts over the past three decades, House members tend to be more outside of the mainstream (right or left) and those with the most longevity are those with the safest (more liberal or conservative) districts. Put that together with the role of seniority in the chamber and you end up with some very left-leaning members running the House.

I believe that the combination of a Democratic White House, Senate and House would not be good for the country, nor for the Party. (This is not to say that I think the Democrats are any less capable of moderating their less mainstream members than the Republicans have been.) And, while I want my Party to be successful, I am an American first and a Democrat second.


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