Monday, November 03, 2008

consolidated power

There has been a lot of discussion about the possibility of the Democrats controlling the House, Senate, and Presidency after the election tomorrow. The question is whether that is too much power, unchecked, in the hand of one ideological group.

It is a good question. We have seen what happened when the Republicans held both branches. In theory, it is a bad thing, but I think the consolidation of power that the Republicans wielded will not happen with the Democrats... which isn't the same as saying that I don't expect them to win solid majorities in House and Senate plus the Presidency. No, the difference is that in large degree, the Republicans acted in lock step with the administration and voted as a block. Around all of the issues they were most concerned about, they were virtually unanimous. This will never happen with the Democrats. They are too diverse as a party. Regardless of official party platforms, there is always a broad spectrum of understanding in the party on any issue. Abortion? There are pro-choice and anti-abortion folk. The military? There are hawks and doves. Taxes? There are fiscal conservatives and near socialists. Any issue you can name, there is a broad range of understandings among Democrats.

What that means is that Obama will have much more difficulty getting his agenda passed than Bush did. It also means that radical change will not happen quickly... although I don't see Obama advocating any radical change.

No comments: