Omir the Storyteller

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Be careful what you ask for


Those of us on the left have been somewhat schizophrenic regarding the election victories this month. On the one hand, there's a great deal of euphoria about the fact that Democrats control both houses of Congress (so long as Joe Lieberman caucuses with the Democrats, anyway). There's also a great deal of angst about what's going to happen next, what course this new Congress should take, and how the Republicans are going to attempt to throw a spanner into the works. Sometimes I think it would be nice to just have a supermajority so we wouldn't have to worry about the Republicans. At all. They'd be relegated to irrelevancy. With a 2/3 majority we could pass constitutional amendments and make any legislation we wanted to veto-proof. Right?

Not so fast.

While all of the above is true, you have to be careful about such things. See, I have never believed that the Democrats had a monopoly on all the good ideas out there, and in fact they come up with some that make me ask "What were they thinking?" Real Republicans -- not the ideologues who make up so much of the party today -- sometimes have good suggestions, and when they do, we should steal them we should listen intently and either adopt them or integrate them into Democratic ideas.

I'm worried that if the Democrats were ever to get a veto-proof majority in Congress, we might see some spectacular legislation, but also some really bad ideas passed into law. What would they be? I don't know, and frankly I'm not sure I want to go there.

I guess my point is really that now that we have the upper hand in Congress, we should start undoing the damage of the last six years of Republican George Bush/Dick Cheney rule, and we should start implementing some laws that will benefit all Americans, not just the ones who have multiple commas in their bank balances. But we should listen to Republicans, especially any moderates who might have survived the tsunami, and let them help us craft legislation that will do the greatest good for the greatest number.

Then in 2008 we can take the credit for it.


At 11:44 AM, Blogger FARfetched said...

I reached the same conclusion from a different angle. If you look at politics (or government) as the mind of a nation, then conservatives are the memory. Handy to have around, so you'll some some record of what's worked (or not) before — but you wouldn't want to conduct your life entirely on memory. It would be like trying to drive a car by looking in the rear-view mirror… the first sharp curve you hit, you're toast.

At 2:54 PM, Blogger Omir the Storyteller said...

Excellent point and one that I hadn't thought of. "Conservatives" are supposed to be the people who think the old ways are the best ways. And sometimes they are. But not always, and as we change as a people sometimes we leave some of the old ways behind (or should, anyway).

It's interesting to think that someday when my granddaughter is an old woman she might be a conservative, stubbornly clinging to the reforms enacted by Congress in 2007 that were considered pretty radical at the time! I guess maybe there's truth in the old saying "You can go from radical to conservative in twenty years without changing a single one of your beliefs."


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