Friday, November 18, 2005

Whither the Republic?

The Decemberist has written a fascinating analysis of the recent collapse of the Congressional Republican organization. Though this morning's passage of a spending bill might seem to undercut some of his arguments, I think he's spot on. What this morning's vote represents, if anything, is the Republican leadership having to fight tooth and nail to get legislation passed that's a mere shadow of its former self. Now, instead of radical crap foisted off on the American public through a lot of legislative arm twisting, we get much weaker, watered-down versions of the same designed to make moderate Republicans happy. It's not pretty, but I think it's more along the lines of our traditional political model than previous efforts from the Delay/Rove/Blunt slimebag contingent. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that the spending vote comprises a real change in Republican leadership methods. Rather, I think it's a tempering.

Compromise, contrary to my regular assertions as a 20-something, and certainly contrary to the frothy ravings of the loony right wing, is not a bad thing. If the Republican Party focused more on finding a happy median for a majority of legislature regardless of their party, I think they'd get further in the long run. Today's vote seems like a step in that direction. And I, for one, think it's a positive sign.

229 years ago we declared independence from a country run by a monarch and a parliament. Over the last 5 years, we've seen a president asserting monarchical powers at every turn and a complacent Congress acting more and more like a parliament. Finally, it's nice to see atleast one half of that equation changing.