Monday, September 17, 2007

State of the Union

My local paper tries its best to balance liberal and conservative political commentary, which is much to its credit. Seeking to understand where the opposition is coming from, I will even often read the conservative columns from time to time. The best way, in my opinion, to counter an contrary argument is to have a clear understanding of the opposing viewpoint.

Thus it was much to my surprise to read an article written by a conservative writer accusing Republican congressmen and women of being spineless and ineffectual. This is the sort of behavior we lefties have continually criticized in our own representatives. These days, it seems like the bases of both parties are outraged. I find it immensely ironic. Apparently, the only person who holds fast to any sort of conviction these days is Warlord Bush.

The kind of gridlock that exists for the most part these days might not necessarily be a bad thing. When the President had both houses of Congress at his disposal, it rubber stamped ever reactionary proposal the White House set forth. Many people, including moderate Republicans, elected a Democratic congress in an effort to provide a check on the broadly expanded powers of the previous six years.

Wall Street loves gridlock because when nothing gets accomplished in Congress, it means that regulatory laws don't get passed. Those who argue for strict lassiez faire capitalism delight in these times of stalemate. Business more or less continues about its merry way, knowing full well it won't have to deal with anything unexpected for quite some time.

Maybe we ought to embrace gridlock, because that's all we're going to get for the remainder of Bush's term. Don't get me wrong, we'll get passionate rhetoric, showdown, and partisan bickering from now until January 2009. If political theatre is what you crave, you'll certainly get your fill of it in the months to come.

But don't expect much to be ticked off on you political wish list.

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