posted at 1:46 pm Fri Nov 10th, 2006 by (DonMayer)
One of the basic tenets of our government is that we have separate but equal branches of government that allow for checks and balances and preserve a balance of power.
This week as we went to the polls, Americans re-discovered the wisdom of our founding fathers and restored a balance of power that has been missing for the past 6 years. The happened even in Vermont, where we elected an independent avowed socialist, Bernie Sanders, to the senate by a landslide, elected a Democrat, Peter Welch as our sole representative to the House, elected a strongly Democratic legislature but also elected a Republican Governor and Lt. Governor. We have a balance of power, we have checks and balances. Even though I would have loved to see my friend win the election for governor, I am satisfied that the voters spoke and have preserved a system of power sharing that at least in Vermont, should make for better government.
President Bush has had veto-override proof legislative bodies for the past six years and as a result there has been unchecked power in the hands of the executive branch of our government. This has led to the dangerous situation where we do not effectively question the policies of the administration. The impact of this is that we lost the ability to question the conduct of the war, to stem an erosion of our civil rights and to protect our environment from exploitation by the few. It is telling that only hours after the election results were known, the chief architect of the war was out of a job and there was talk about a cooperative new approach to Iraq.
It is my hope that with the change in power there comes a change in attitude, too. I know that revenge and pay-back will be on the minds of many in the newly constituted legislatures, however, they should all keep in mind that elections come every two years and unless our representatives govern with intelligence and compassion they, too, may be looking for new jobs. The balance has swung and we have another of those rare moments when we can seize the opportunity to cooperatively govern our nation.
Bill Clinton once said it in an interview right after our president was elected for the first time. To paraphrase, he said that the democrats had 8 years to try to do it their way and the people didn't think that there was enough progress so they gave the republicans a shot. He predicted that the pendulum would swing again and that's exactly what we saw on Tuesday. The democrats now have the responsibility to govern for the people and the people will judge them in the next election, too.
I am an unabashed fan of Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine and our founding fathers. Their insight and foresight continues to amaze me.
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