Basking in Obama’s Reflected Glory

Republicans will not be able to win this election. Obama will probably win the presidency. However, if McCain wins, many Democrats will automatically say that Republicans “once again” stole the election (although the only people trying to steal the election in 2000 were Democrats). This will start another 4-8 years of hatred between parties. Once again, everything bad from the economy to natural disasters will be blamed on Republicans (yes, there are quite a few people in the U.S. who honestly believe Pres. Bush was responsible for Hurricane Katrina – I’m not talking about the federal government’s response to the hurricane, I’m talking about the actual hurricane itself).

For many people (and I hear and read this a lot), Republicans can do no right and Obama can do no wrong. What’s funny is that fellow Democrats are basking in Obama’s reflected glory. It’s look like Democrats will have large majorities in the Senate and the House, turning our federal government into a single party system. Further, a number of Supreme Court Justices will be up for retirement soon and Obama, with the legislative branch on his side, could pack the court with whomever he wants. That could mean that all 3 branches of government roughly followed a single ideological system!

What I don’t understand is why voters want to increase the power of the ruling party in Congress when Congress has very low approval ratings (roughly 15%) and very high disapproval ratings (roughly 75%). That’s lower than Pres. Bush’s approval ratings! The Democratic ad campaign was successful in convincing many Americans that all the country’s problems are caused by Republicans. Yes, they are to blame for some of the problems, but certainly no more than Democrats are.

I’ve heard the argument that it would be good for the economy to have a Democratic president because if you look at the past 30 years, budget deficits and the national debt have gone up a lot when a Republican was in office (of course, we only have 12 years of those 30 where we had a Democrat president, so the sample is biased). However, Democrats often had the majority in the House and sometimes in the Senate while Republicans were in the White House. So maybe the problem was the Democratic legislative branch – after all, they make the laws and authorize the spending of the money.

However, most people don’t really think through the ramifications of having a single-party federal government (it’s pretty close anyway – Republicans and Democrats are more similar than different – but do we really want it to actually be one party in charge?). It’s a good time to be a Democrat.

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