Somehow when it comes to elections, lots of folks seem to get confused into thinking they’re watching ESPN. Sure it’s fun to feel part of a victory, but what matters politically far outweighs any championship ring, cup, or a trip to Disneyworld – even if the media would have you believe otherwise during Superbowl season. So while it’s easy rally around one side depending on where you fall in the old color scheme of things, the truth is that politics aren’t so black, Blue, right, white, Red, or left. These kind of delineations are enough to make anyone dizzy.
The myriad of vital issues at stake can morph even the most well informed citizen into a very confused voter. Compounding that is the fact most members are unwilling to take a strong stance on controversial issues because they depend on heterogeneous support to keep them employed. Very few are safe enough to disagree with some large component of their constituency. This isn’t news obviously, but it is extremely important to remember when criticizing policy or complaining about leadership. Checks and balances, for the people by the people and whathaveyou.
As for me, my decisions are dictated by content. The Republican Congressman from Maryland is a great example of someone with whom I often agree, even though many staunch environmentalists mistakenly believe they should always turn left. As far as global warming, I shoot straight for the best science available.
So while it’s easy to be so reactive to the fact that Congress often seems nonreactive, keep in mind a great deal is at stake. And the presidential election of 2008 will continue to be the enormous elephant (or donkey) in the room on everything from the war to the environment to healthcare. That said, yes the Dems have majority now… but remember, typically very little can be accomplished in the two years preceding a new president.
With that I’m off to a meeting, but another related post coming soon… In a few hours I’ll share a little anecdote from inside the office of a prominent republican committee chair on the morning after the 2006 election.