Divided government reconsidered

Perhaps I should reconsider my semi-sanguine view of divided government, the notion that one party in control of the White House and another in control of Congress would serve as a modest check on the growth of government.  For here is the sub-head of the big story on the front-page of the DR's hometown paper:  "Democrats mark gains in wage, ethics, but not Iraq, surveillance."

That's four issues.  Let's consider each briefly:

    1. Minimum wage.  It's going up… as will unemployment, for the one follows the other as sure as night follows day.
    2. Ethics legislation.  This was no-brainer stuff that even Republicans voted for.
    3. Iraq.  Democratic timidity, even though this is the reason they were brought to power last November, has been nothing short of breathtaking.
    4. Surveillance.  As one critic of this pernicious legislation says, Congress basically legalized the warrantless wiretapping program.  Approval of international surveillance now moves from a special "FISA" court into the hands of Alberto Gonzales and company.  Don't you feel safer from the terrorists already?

    Put it all on a "liberty scorecard," and we're a mere 1 for 4.  So much for the benefits of gridlock.