November 03, 2010


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While I'm Thinking About It

Well, that was interesting.

Republican majority in the House of Representatives. Democrat majority in the Senate. I'm happy with this turn of events, even more so than if it had been a clean sweep, for a couple of reasons. First of all, spending bills originate in the House. If the new majority is half as conservative as they wanted the voters to think they are, this could be the end of massive pork-barrel "stimulus" programs, for awhile at least. Second, it will be interesting to watch the output of both houses. There's a chance we'll get enough evidence to finally shut down the "there's no difference between the parties" arguments. Third, despite the obvious parallels, I believe that Obama is in a weaker position at this point than Clinton was following the 1994 mid-term elections. Clinton was able to run a re-election campaign in 1996 based in large part on all those evil, mean-spirited Republicans in both houses of Congress. Obama will not be able to do that as easily.

Now here's some unsolicited advice that will go unheeded: all you new Republican representatives, remember that when a Democrat talks of bipartisanship (which has already started to happen), what they mean is Republicans working with Democrats to achieve Democratic goals. And when Republicans start to govern like Democrats who don't spend quite as much money, voters tend to stop pretending and vote for Democrats next time out. Like in 2006.

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