Southern View

My focus is usually on Canadian politics (federal & provincial), but every now and then I look elsewhere, especially south of the border.

The American mid-term elections have the potential for some dramatic shifts in power between the Democrats and the Republicans, especially when it comes to the House of Representatives. My friend Adam Daifallah, who has (amongst his other accomplishments) worked as a Washington DC-based reporter for the New York Sun, has been blogging about the campaign lately.

Pete DuPont has written an interesting article about what could happen if the Demo's do in fact take control of the House and/or the Senate. The article's sub-heading, "Republicans deserve to lose, but what happens if Democrats win", pretty much gives you an idea of where he's coming from. Check out the article (free registration may be required), but here's a "money quote":

Most Americans have not yet thought much about [the Democrats'] agenda, or the leaders who will set it. But they are tired of the Republican congressional performance. ...

No wonder: Republicans gave line-item veto power to the Democratic president in the 1990s, but refused to give it to the current Republican president. They haven't made the Bush tax cuts permanent. They wouldn't bring individual ownership of Social Security retirement accounts to a vote. They haven't done anything on health care. And they have raised federal spending by $750 billion since 2001 and for fiscal 2006 approved 10,000 earmarks costing $29 billion. Conservative principles seem to have faded away, and ethical principles have weakened--names like DeLay, Ney and Foley make the point. ...

In politics as in other jobs, there is a price to pay for poor performance.

Pierre "Pete" DuPont is an interesting guy, in that his ideas from when he was actively in politics now appear to have been ahead of their time. He was a US Congressman, and served a couple of terms as Governor of Delaware. He ran a long-shot campaign for the Republican nomination in '88, losing to GHWB. Back then, his ideas for the reform of Social Security and the welfare system were seen as way outside the mainstream; now, they have either been adopted in one form or another, and not always by Republicans (eg. Clinton's welfare-reform policies) or at the very least, are seen as debatable proposals in US mainstream political discussion (eg. Social Security).

Anyway, he makes a point that has been tumbling around in my thoughts, and in the thoughts of a number of conservatives in the USA, Canada and elsewhere: We aren't thrilled about the thought of the Demo's taking over all or part of Congress, but the Repub's are really acting like they need a timeout in the worst way.

Food for thought, as we get closer to the mid-terms over the next couple of weeks.

More later.


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