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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Beware a Democrat Majority in the Senate

    George W. Bush’s name, over the past eight years, has become associated with all the problems this country will have to face over the next eight.

    I have my doubts over how active a role Bush has had over messing things up, but regardless of how this country started to unravel at the seams, many independent, liberal, libertarian and moderate voters have come to blame it on Bush’s neoconservative wing of the Republican party.

    The problem with this is, many of the aforementioned are looking towards Democratic politicians to fix so-called “Republican administration” problems. This is contributing to Obama’s lead in the polls, but even more worrisome, it is contributing to an increasing likelihood that we’re going to be seeing 60 members in the Democratic caucus in the senate. That would be sufficient to break filibusters from a Republican minority group, giving Democrats the power, if they can come to an internal consensus, to pass any law over Republican objections.

    We’ll find out for sure next week how likely this is, because it relies on the local politics in several places turning simultaneously against Republican candidates. However, with such incidences as the indictment of Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), this is a possible reality that we should consider.

    I fear a Democratic majority, because, even though the Republicans have done a fair job of messing up the country, Democrats have done a far worse job at fixing it. With an Obama presidency, the government will have the chance to fundamentally change the role of government in the lives of its citizens, without the role of a significant opposition party.

    Therefore, ideas which Democrats generally accept, such as increasing the domestic umbrella of government over our economic lives, will not see the proper debate of ideas in the public sphere. It wouldn’t surprise me if members of a future Republican minority have no problem abandoning their conservative principles when the “winds of change” start blowing, because we have already seen this trend in recent months.

    The congress and senate are suffering from some of the lowest approval ratings of all time, because, as it is popularly believed, we have been dealt a “do-nothing” congress. But I disagree with this analysis. It is more likely that the issues which congress has taken the strongest position on, like financial bail-out plans, aren’t actually the best plans for America. Yet there is little discussion about this between politicians. There is some variation about where tax dollars are best spent, and which government programs should be granted increased regulatory duties, but precious few politicians are arguing for less spending to improve our economic position.

    We need more debate right now, even if that means congress is locked, and some bills get delayed. That just insures that all sides of an argument have time to be heard. A Democratic congress might be able to make sweeping changes, but I’d rather see “more of the same” than changes we can’t believe in, changes which alter what it means to be an American.

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