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:
- Minimum wage. It's going up… as will unemployment, for the one follows the other as sure as night follows day.
- Ethics legislation. This was no-brainer stuff that even Republicans voted for.
- Iraq. Democratic timidity, even though this is the reason they were brought to power last November, has been nothing short of breathtaking.
- 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.