Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Divided Government - Monday Meme Momentum Monitor

I know. It's Wednesday. But I just thought of this title, I like the alliteration, and this is now a regular Monday feature, starting um ... next Monday.

In the meantime, lets consider this the first "beta" version of the Divided Government meme monitor post - as long as we don't count this prior post - (clearly an "alpha" release) where we state why we are tracking this meme - "In the end analysis, success for this blog will not be measured by traffic, but by whether the ideas discussed here have legs, and whether they have an impact on the political dialog."

This Technorati chart indicates the meme remains mired in the muck. But we are heartened by finding more voices raised in support of Divided Government last week:

Lee at Right Thinking From The Left Coast posts: Welcome to the Party, Pal

" ...These core GOP beliefs were solid through Reagan’s era and up to Newt’s revolution in 1994. Between 1994 and the end of the decade there began to be a shift in priorities. The Republicans, who had come into power promising to remake government, began to get drunk on their own power. They didn’t just have the car keys, they had access to the liquor cabinet, and they were going to make good use of both of them. While Clinton was in office there was a natural check on excess through gridlock. (Ah, sweet sweet gridlock. How I miss thee.) When Bush got into office, however, all bets were off. The policy became, “You want something? Send it to me, I’ll sign it. In return, you give me whatever I ask for.” There was no gridlock, there was a 20-lane superhighway covered in bacon grease."
Lou at Lou's News and Views posts: Now a word from the other side
"Closely related to this argument is the idea that divided government (Republicans in control of the executive branch and Democrats in control of at least one house of Congress) really does serve the country, particularly when the executive branch is acting in a high-handed, autocratic way. Examples of this include: [litany of Bush administration failures here] ... Should Democrats take control of the House or Senate, they will be able to conduct “oversight” hearings into activities run by the executive branch….not to punish or embarrass the White House, but to insure basic accountability. Witnesses would have to testify under oath and you can anticipate that a number of tough but fair questions would be asked."
Gentleman Johnny at Livejournal posts: Libertarians and Conservatives
"... the question that should be on everyone's minds (especially conservatives): Why should libertarians (who make up somewhere between 15% and 20% of the population) stick with conservatives, now that they are in charge? Shouldn't libertarians now throw their weight in behind the liberals at the national level to reign in federal power by regaining divided government?... Many libertarians would be willing to forgive the Republican government it's various statist impulses if it held a firm line on federalism. From this perspective the No Child Left Behind Act is almost unforgiveable. This is exactly the sort of federal meddling that conservatives should be railing against (and would be, if they weren't in power). If the Republicans agreed not to extend federal control into new areas (REAL ID Act, anyone?) and maybe roll back some of the encroachments (NCLB would be a good start), I think the libertarians would stay on board. None of this looks likely.
The blog Shining city on the Hill fears a Lieberman primary loss will risk securing a Divided Government outcome in this post: Lamont's Ads Are Better Than Lieberman's?
"If the Democrats can't effectively challenge the Republicans, the Republicans will keep power. If the Republicans keep both the House, the Senate, and the Presidency.... the crazy spending won't end. We need a divided government."
QandO maintains a steady drumbeat with two more posts referencing Divided Government.

First McQ at QandO posts: Republicans? Democrats? Tell me again how they’re different?

"... I'm back to my short-term solution of a divided Congress which would most likely be so tied up in partisan bickering and fighting that it would have little time to sit down in a bi-partisan way and conspire to take more of my money or intrude more deeply in my life. It might also provide a cold slap of reality to the party which claims to be for limited and less intrusive government but seems to be going out of its way, these days, to prove otherwise."
And Jon Henke posts: Tired of Republicans
"It's been said that the best reason to vote Republican is the Democratic Party. Increasingly, though, the reverse is also true. One must remember that relatively few voters have actual political ideologies or major interests; most voters simply want a candidate with which they feel comfortable. Those undecideds — the approximately 1/3rd who might be swayed — may not like the Democratic alternative very much, but it's hard to see why they would find the status quo more appealing. As Jaded suggests, the taste of Republican domination is getting old."
Bithead at Bithead disagrees with Henke, but hey, at this point all publicity is good publicity. Gridlock? Hell no
"More, the way Henke's been tounge-lapping the likes of Greenwald, and preaching the Al Gore inspired "global warming" gospel, makes it perfectly clear that "gridlock" is nowhere near what he has in mind. The patterns are all there. Even without that factor, voting Democrat, as Henkle proposes sends precisely the wrong message to Congress.... if reducing the size of government is the objective. (See also, wolf, sheep costume.) Further yet, the course suggested puts our national security directly into the hands of the 'cut and run' crowd... Yeah, THAT'LL work, huh? No. On these and a few hundred levels I've not even touched on, the call for gridlock... even assuming that's what you're after, is NOT the way to go."
Bill Quick at the Daily Pundit agrees with Henke in his post Worth A Try, Anyways.
Seems like a pretty good course to me. If we actively took the Senate and/or the House away from the Republicans by defeating the big-spending RINOs, we could end up with two good outcomes: gridlock, and a Republican party chastened enough to both return to its roots and stop taking conservative and libertarian votes for granted.

Sounds good to me Bill.

Just Vote Divided.

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