Monday, October 30, 2006

The Coming Change

There is a good likelihood that the Democrats will take the House of Representatives next week. At the same time, their chances for capturing the Senate are pretty low. The only thing that could really influence this projection in favor of the Republicans would be an attack on Iran. I do not put it past the Cheney Administration to try this, though it would be very foolish. But, when have they ever let this stop them?

What will be the result of recapturing the House? This has been reported by those much more versed in the goings on in Washington than I. Since the Dems won't have a veto proof majority, and may not have the Senate, they will not be able to push forward legislation for which Bush will not employ a sustaining veto. Thus, the crowning disaster of the last six years, in my eyes, the altering of the intent of our Constitution by denying habeas corpus to prisoners (or, for that matter, anyone that Bush or Rumsfeld deems an "enemy combatant") may be difficult to erase. The prosecution of the boondoogle in Iraq will also be difficult to change though the Dems will hold the purse strings. A defense spending bill that dramatically cuts funding for Iraq would certainly be vetoed and lead to gridlock since the Dems don't have a super majority to override this. The experience of the Repubs when they wouldn't pass a budget in the mid 90's should be kept in mind. This was a big victory for Clinton.

The most important thing that will happen, though, is that the Chairmanships and majorities of the all important House committees will fall into the hands of the Democrats. This includes the power to subpoena witnesses and lead the questioning. I can think of a whole bunch of White House operatives and appointees that I would like to see under oath on the Hill.

While one would hope that America would be governed by bipartisan consent, the last six years has seen a complete disregard for this by the Republicans. They may live to rue the day that they refused to listen to the other side on just about every significant decision.

The one stealth arrow that the Cheney Administration has in its quiver is the Supreme Court. Little did we realize when we did not block Bush's appointments how important they might be. It is entirely likely that the Supreme Court will block any major move by a Democratic House to address the many horrors of the last six years. Instead of providing cohesion to our Government, they could dismantle it.

As always, there is the Chinese curse: "May you live in interesting times!"

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