Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Checks and balances

The Democratic victory for control of congress is a big boost for the idea of checks and balances -- and a significant repudiation of the war in Iraq. This wasn't necessarily clear at first, but as the Democratic margin in the House increased and as exit polls showed the Iraq war as the top priority for so many voters, it became increasingly obvious.

With the commission bill the United States moved to the verge of being a police state, repudiating at least in significant part the Great Writ of habeas corpus that has protected people in English-speaking countries from being imprisoned arbitrarily and without charges for some 800 years. I don't know if Democratic majoritie(s) -- the Senate is still uncertain as of this writing -- will be moved to reconsider that bill, or if the election results will embolden the courts. But the American people let the political establishment know that they have had enough of unitary government.

Does that mean gridlock? If so, how glorious! A government incapable of undertaking major initiatives from either end of the sometimes bogus political "spectrum" is a government less capable of hurting the people. The economy thrived under divided government during the 1990s and most of the 1980s. Bring it on!

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