Hoping to survive an oncoming Democratic wave, John McCain and his
Republican cohorts popularized a new campaign meme this past week --
the "dangerous threesome":
Referring to Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, House speaker,
and Harry Reid, Senate majority ...
Hoping to survive an oncoming Democratic wave, John McCain and his Republican cohorts popularized a new campaign meme this past week -- the "dangerous threesome":
Referring to Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, House speaker, and Harry Reid, Senate majority leader, Mr. McCain told a rally in Cleveland, Ohio: "You know, my friends, this is a dangerous threesome. They believe that $1 trillion of rescue financing is not enough and have already proposed another $300bn spending spree they're calling a stimulus plan."
This idea that voting for Republican candidates will prevent the "threesome" from overreaching has trickled into some tight congressional races too, especially in districts where Obama is expected to fare well. GOP Rep. Peter Roskam, fearing a 14-point Obama landslide in the 6th District, warned of one-party rule on WLS' Don Wade & Roma In The Morning last Wednesday:
ROSKAM: My predecessor Henry Hyde had a great description for things. And he said, “There’s one thing worse than gridlock in Washington and the worse thing is the greased shoot of government.” And I think there’s a lot of wisdom there. If government does things fast, without other voices, without other people raising issues and raising questions, it tends not to work out too well.
Now, there's some truth to that quote. Good policy incorporates a range of opinions and research from different perspectives. What's overlooked, however, is the actual policies an Obama administration and a Democratic Congress would push. No matter how much Roskam cries about the dangers of big government, Americans are hungry for the main planks of the Democratic agenda. In fact, they have been for a long time, only to be foiled by timid lawmakers and structural legislative deficiencies (i.e. the filibuster).
Most Americans want to solve global warming and move away from our dependence on oil. They want a responsible but immediate withdrawal from Iraq. They also want progressive taxation and government-funded stem cell research and reformed labor laws and universal health care.
Maybe Americans prefer a divided government because it provides necessary "checks and balances" on the leaders in the majority. Some political scientists aren't at all convinced, and I'm not either. Regardless, complaints at this stage of the game about the danger of giving the opposition too much power just reek of desperation, particularly coming from a party whose godfathers not so long ago relished the idea of one-party rule.