When the Democrats were elected to take control of the House and Senate it was not so much an endorsement of the Democratic Party philosophies as it was a message that the American people were frustrated with the current administration. The real message that should resonate on Capitol Hill is that the current legislative leaders were not fulfilling the wishes of the people.
The Democrats have control now, and with that power brings responsibility so they will need to step up to lead the country through some tough decisions; shrinking a huge budget deficit, Social Security revisions, health care reform, defending against homeland terrorist threats and most importantly an exit strategy for the war in Iraq. If they choose to merely use this victory as an opportunity to offer payback to the Republicans for the past few years of control, then the American people will see through that and make appropriate changes during the next election in 2008. Just like they did last week.
Our nation's government normally works better when there are true checks & balances; that is a Republican President and Democratic Congress or vice-versa. When either party has control of both branches of government it can mean poor decision making based on political dominance. When you remove the Extremist Right and Liberalist Left you uncover where the majority of Americans fall, near the center, where things get accomplished without partisanship bickering.
There is a lot of posturing going on right now, and for the moment we will remain optimistic that the new order in Washington will be to work together for the greater good of all. Because it really isn't about Republicans or Democrats; it's about Americans who want progress and not an endless barrage of bickering.
Let's hope the current one-week attitude of partnership, not partisanship, will continue. If it doesn't we can look forward to 2008 when we will have our next opportunity to send a message to our leaders that we hold them accountable for their actions. Hopefully Republicans and Democrats got that message last week and will respond accordingly.
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