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A Case for Divided Government

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Old 11-04-2008, 09:26 PM   #1
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A Case for Divided Government

I know I've been preaching and warning about this for a while but I honestly think that any party getting total control over government is a VERY bad idea. Apparently now I have some numbers to back it up. Also before the article I would like to point out that Clinton's best years came with divided government. In fact his presidency wasn't looking to good when the Democrats had complete control over the goverment (1993-1995). With that said I predict that Obama will lose his Democratic majority in 2010 and in turn move on to one of the more succesful presidencies in history.

A Case for Divided Government

For those of you with a partisan bent, I have some bad news:


Our federal government may work better (less badly) when at least one chamber of Congress is controlled by a party other than the party of the president. The general reason for this is that each party has the opportunity to block the most divisive measures proposed by the other party. Other conditions, of course, also affect political outcomes, but the following types of evidence for this hypothesis are too important to ignore:
  • Point One. The rate of growth of real (inflation-adjusted) federal spending is usually lower with divided government.
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Old 11-04-2008, 10:25 PM   #2
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Re: A Case for Divided Government

Voter's "in the know" know this but unfortunately there are more "low information voters" in this country. Plus, the Republican candidates over all have been stinky poo. Even informed voters won't vote for a shitty candidate.
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Old 11-04-2008, 10:55 PM   #3
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Re: A Case for Divided Government

This is true, but hard to control, especially with the recent track record of the republicans.
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Old 11-05-2008, 07:48 AM   #4
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Re: A Case for Divided Government

This was and is my primary concern.

I don't think the Democratic party is the devil or Obama is the antichrist by any stretch - fact of the matter is Obama will probably do a pretty decent job. The thing that really scares me is one party having so much power and being able to just railroad anything they want all they way through.

Be VERY interesting to see what happens with Supreme Court appointments. If the democrats take a majority lead there, I'm very fearful for this country. For the record, I'm equally fearful when the Republicans have that much power. It makes it way to easy for one party to abuse the country.
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Old 11-05-2008, 08:45 AM   #5
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Re: A Case for Divided Government

The positive of this is things can get pushed through quickly, and on some issues (mainly in regard to those that impact the economy) quick action really is needed.
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Old 11-05-2008, 08:51 AM   #6
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Re: A Case for Divided Government

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Originally Posted by Mattyk72 View Post
The positive of this is things can get pushed through quickly, and on some issues (mainly in regard to those that impact the economy) quick action really is needed.
That would definitely be the upside of it. Of course that assumes that what is being pushed is what's good for the country and the potential downsides and negative impact has been carefully considered.

Speed is great if you've got the right course of action. If you've got the wrong plan, that just means you screw things up even faster.

What you lose when any party has a supermajority is a sense of discourse, of having to justify (in a good way) your plan. Without that it boils down to politicians having free reign.

Maybe it's just me, but I would think that "politicians having free reign" would strike fear in the heart of anyone.
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Old 11-05-2008, 09:15 AM   #7
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Re: A Case for Divided Government

Dude, Republicans have screwed things up soooooo freaking badly that there is no way they should be in power at all!

Now, don't get me wrong your theory on a "Divided Government" is a good one, but it would only work if the Republicans had and could use a brain.

By that I mean, if they want to use "Joe the Plummer" to win over a few votes........just make sure he is a real licensed plummer first! It only makes you look dumb when everyone finds out that he's not a real one!

Or when a Supreme Court justice steps down......don't try to get a lottery lawyer appointed!

And don't make someone your Vice Presidential Candidate when they don't even know what the Vice President does! Or what the Bush Doctrine is.

It only makes you look stupid when you do things like that AND incapable of leading a country out of very difficult times.

The Republicans really need to realize that they have to change if they want to make a divided government happen once again. They should hold a meeting with each other and talk about how they are going to do that. Like you said, it should make the country better and it could. But, right now there is no freaking way it would.
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Old 11-05-2008, 09:27 AM   #8
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Re: A Case for Divided Government

I am..........aghast once more
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Old 11-05-2008, 10:05 AM   #9
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Re: A Case for Divided Government

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Originally Posted by Miller101 View Post
Dude, Republicans have screwed things up soooooo freaking badly that there is no way they should be in power at all!

Now, don't get me wrong your theory on a "Divided Government" is a good one, but it would only work if the Republicans had and could use a brain.

By that I mean, if they want to use "Joe the Plummer" to win over a few votes........just make sure he is a real licensed plummer first! It only makes you look dumb when everyone finds out that he's not a real one!

Or when a Supreme Court justice steps down......don't try to get a lottery lawyer appointed!

And don't make someone your Vice Presidential Candidate when they don't even know what the Vice President does! Or what the Bush Doctrine is.

It only makes you look stupid when you do things like that AND incapable of leading a country out of very difficult times.

The Republicans really need to realize that they have to change if they want to make a divided government happen once again. They should hold a meeting with each other and talk about how they are going to do that. Like you said, it should make the country better and it could. But, right now there is no freaking way it would.
How ironic that your complaint is that the Republicans don't use their brains.
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Old 11-05-2008, 10:08 AM   #10
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Re: A Case for Divided Government

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Originally Posted by mheisig View Post
How ironic that your complaint is that the Republicans don't use their brains.
THAT'S Humor!
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Old 11-05-2008, 10:58 AM   #11
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Re: A Case for Divided Government

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Originally Posted by mheisig View Post
That would definitely be the upside of it. Of course that assumes that what is being pushed is what's good for the country and the potential downsides and negative impact has been carefully considered.

Speed is great if you've got the right course of action. If you've got the wrong plan, that just means you screw things up even faster.

What you lose when any party has a supermajority is a sense of discourse, of having to justify (in a good way) your plan. Without that it boils down to politicians having free reign.

Maybe it's just me, but I would think that "politicians having free reign" would strike fear in the heart of anyone.
I totally agree with what you're saying. At this point the only thing we can do is what and see how it plays out and hope to god they don't screw it up.
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Old 11-05-2008, 11:05 AM   #12
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Re: A Case for Divided Government

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I totally agree with what you're saying. At this point the only thing we can do is what and see how it plays out and hope to god they don't screw it up.
Agreed.

I've got to say it's refreshing to have this election over. I didn't like either candidate much, but I'm ready to just move on and see how things change, hopefully for the better.

I disagree with a lot of his stances on issues, but I do like Obama's temperament and his oratory skills surpass any public speaker in the last twenty years at least.

Here's to burying the political hatchet that's been wielded with reckless abandon over the last year or so. Time to get the economy on the right track, find a sensible way to get out of both wars and start having some thoughtful and rational discourse on the myriad social issues that divide this country.
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Old 11-05-2008, 11:08 AM   #13
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Re: A Case for Divided Government

Are we talking about discourse for the sake of discourse? I really don't know how one has rational and grounded discourse with people like Mitch McConnell, Lindsy Graham, Eric Cantor, and John Boehner.
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Old 11-05-2008, 11:11 AM   #14
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Re: A Case for Divided Government

Politicio has a piece on GOP leadership and behind the scene info.

Quote:
"With the issues before us today come bipartisan opportunities and partisan differences," Putnam wrote. "My current role obligates me to the latter and too often excludes me from the former. I want to fight the battles worth fighting and lock arms to strengthen our nation whenever possible."
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Old 11-05-2008, 11:18 AM   #15
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Re: A Case for Divided Government

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Originally Posted by mheisig View Post
Agreed.

I've got to say it's refreshing to have this election over. I didn't like either candidate much, but I'm ready to just move on and see how things change, hopefully for the better.

I disagree with a lot of his stances on issues, but I do like Obama's temperament and his oratory skills surpass any public speaker in the last twenty years at least.

Here's to burying the political hatchet that's been wielded with reckless abandon over the last year or so. Time to get the economy on the right track, find a sensible way to get out of both wars and start having some thoughtful and rational discourse on the myriad social issues that divide this country.
I completely agree and it was good to hear McCain make that point in his concession, which I thought he did a fine job with.
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