Except for 1974 when Watergate padded the rolls of Tip O’Neill’s majority with another 48 votes, Congress never got much of my attention during my politically impressionable years.
It just was not very exciting.
Until Newt Gingrich busted through in 1994 with a 54-seat gain for the GOP, we just assumed Democrats would always control the U.S. House of Representatives. (Democrats took over Congress after the 1948 elections, and continued in power for the next 48 years.)
Now two back-to-back mid-term elections turning the Democrats out after just 4 years may be teaching our children a new lesson. A 30-seat shift to the Democrats in the ’06 mid-term and now the 64-seat shift back to the GOP in this year’s mid-term is proving something that was there all along.
We the people are in charge in this government. No question about it. Just think about all the politicians we have moving in and out of offices over the upcoming holidays.
Feel good about it if you want. We the people made it happen.
So, what’s the problem? The problem is we are like the guy giving directions—“Go left; turn right; no keep going straight—” who does not know where he going.
Lots of moving around, but are we going anywhere?
Sure, we may like taking power away from presidents by voting in a House controlled by the opposite party. Our present for Bush was Pelosi and now we are giving Boehner to Obama.
Other than to say what goes around comes around, what does this mean exactly? It means, I think, that the voting public is mighty confused. Maybe that’s unfair. Our system is like a go-cart without a steering wheel so we can only push one pedal to get left and the other one to go right.
Right now those voters in the middle–the deciders–are plunging on the right pedal, but that won’t last.
One of the old Washington hands said now there is a 5 or 6 month window when there might be some forward traction before everything tilts into the 2012 Presidential campaign.
While that window is open–however briefly—serious people will try and make sense out of all these elections. May they do a better job than I.
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