Technology with attitude

Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.

14

I returned from a family fishing holiday to learn that we have now adopted corporate welfare, socialism and big government centralized planning as the core drivers for our economy in America. Huh. Apparently, the new American Five Year Economic Plan is to be administered by fiat from an appointed banking Czar. This should work out well.

I also learned that we have selected a new President. Apparently I missed the election, but when Justin says it is over, it is time to accept the inevitable and let the healing begin.

Let us look forward. What can we expect? As ASC points out, some worrywarts are concerned whether an impotent Republican minority will be able to restrain the worst impulses of Democratic One Party Rule. Some insight can be gleaned by looking back at the Democratic minority experience during the recent years of Republican One Party Rule.

My sister (Obama supporter) pointed me to this video clip from “The West Wing.” She was a big fan of the show. I never watched it. In this video I use the West Wing clip to introduce a fundamental concept of divided government, the founding father’s intent to ensure that minority opinion is always represented and a way to vote in the 2008 presidential election. Or rather – it would – if the election had not already been decided.




Long rant continues with more on the video and supporting links after the fold

This West Wing episode originally aired on October 30, 2002, a few days before the midterm election in GWB’s first term. The Republicans held majorities in both houses of the legislature and the presidency. They were about to expand their majorities. Liberals and Democrats were justifiably concerned that their minority voice was not being heard. Hence the sentiment expressed by the West Wing writers and delivered convincingly by Martin Sheen as Jed Bartlett. A divided government sounded like a pretty good idea to Democrats at the time. It was. Unfortunately the American electorate disagreed, leading to a continuation of one party rule and more disastrous decisions. Divided Government is still a good idea, but today only Republicans seem to think so. Funny how that works.

So Barack Obama is indeed our new Dear Leader, and songs of praise are being sung across the land. I guess that is appropriate, since his acceptance speech was a litany of old liberal big government bromides. Who better to finish the job that GWB started and march us into the new millennium of a glorious American workers paradise?

It looks like Barack Obama will indeed succeed in uniting Americans of every political stripe the left with the far left and maybe even bring in the moderate left, leaving only fiscal conservatives, libertarians and limited government advocates without a voice or any practical representation in Washington. But that is ok, since we will certainly get new taxes without that representation. Kind of nostalgic.

As we have a new President leading another One Party Government, I thought we should assess where this impending One Party Rule disaster will fit in the spectrum of Great One Party Rule disasters of the past. Since everyone tells me it is a blowout, I will assume my worst fears are to be realized, and the Dems will get to a 60-40 filibuster proof majority in the Senate, and a 100 seat majority in the House.

With those assumption, this is where the Obama One Party Rule will rank out of the infamous One Party Rulers of the last 75 years. These charts from US History.com:

#1 FDR/Truman One Party Rule – 12 years

Years
House
Senate
President
73rd
1933-1935
Dem 310
Rep 117
Other 5
Dem 60
Rep 35
Other 1
F. Roosevelt
(Democrat)
74th
1935-1937
Dem 319
Rep 103
Other 10
Dem 69
Rep 25
Other 2
F. Roosevelt
(Democrat)
75th
1937-1939
Dem 331
Rep 89
Other 13
Dem 76
Rep 16
Other 4
F. Roosevelt
(Democrat)
76th
1939-1941
Dem 261
Rep 164
Other 4
Dem 69
Rep 23
Other 4
F. Roosevelt
(Democrat)
77th
1941-1943
Dem 268
Rep 162
Other 5
Dem 66
Rep 28
Other 2
F. Roosevelt
(Democrat)
78th
1943-1945
Dem 218
Rep 208
Other 4
Dem 58
Rep 37
Other 1
F. Roosevelt
(Democrat)
79th
1945-1947
Dem 242
Rep 190
Other 2
Dem 56
Rep 38
Other 1
F. Roosevelt
Truman
(Democrat)
#2 JFK/LBJ One Party Rule – 8 years

Years
House
Senate
President
87th
1961-1963
Dem 263
Rep 174
Dem 65
Rep 35
Other 1
Kennedy
(Democrat)
88th
1963-1965
Dem 258
Rep 117
Dem 67
Rep 33
Other 1
Kennedy
L. Johnson
(Democrat)
89th
1965-1967
Dem 295
Rep 140
Dem 68
Rep 32
Other 1
L. Johnson
(Democrat)
90th
1967-1969
Dem 246
Rep 187
Dem 64
Rep 36
Other 1
L. Johnson
(Democrat)
#3 JC One Party Rule – 4 years

Years
House
Senate
President
95th
1977-1979
Dem 292
Rep 143
Dem 61
Rep 38
Other 1
Carter
(Democrat)
96th
1979-1981
Dem 276
Rep 157
Dem 58
Rep 41
Other 1
Carter
(Democrat)
#4 BHO One Party Rule – ?? years

Years
House
Senate
President
111th
2009-????
Dem 268
Rep 167
Dem 60
Rep 39
Other 1
Obama
(Democrat)
#5 GWB One Party Rule – 6 years

Years
House
Senate
President
107th
2001-2003
Rep 221
Dem 212
Other 2
Dem 50
Rep 49
Other 1
G.W. Bush
(Republican)
108th
2003-2005
Rep 228
Dem 204
Other 3
Rep 51
Dem 48
Other 1
G.W. Bush
(Republican)
109th
2005-2007
Rep 231
Dem 201
Other 3
Rep 55
Dem 44
Other 1
G.W. Bush
(Republican)

Barack Obama fits somewhere between Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush in these One Party Rule Power Rankings. Somehow that seems appropriate. My casual observation is that the amount of damage done by One Party Rule correlates to two factors – 1) The number of years that Rule is in place, and 2) Whether the party in power has a filibuster proof 60-40 majority. So, there is some cause for hope that the damage can be limited in the next two years. [NOTE – I have not included the first two years of the Clinton and Eisenhower administrations, which both held narrow One Party majorities – they would be ranked 6 and 7 respectively].

What kind of damage are we talking about? Damage to civil and economic liberties. Damage to individual freedom. For illustration, some examples from the administrations listed above, in no particular order:

Internment of Japanese-American citizens, Abuse of IRS and FBI power for political gain (FDR), Massive Expansion of Federal Government (FDR), Confiscation of gold from American citizens, Seizing Coal Mines and other business, NIRA and the National Recovery Administration to impose price controls, set production quotas and implement centralized control of the economy (later ruled unconstitutional), Federal seizure of control of state tideland oil resources, Attempted stacking of the Supreme Court, Broad expansion of Executive War Powers (FDR), Higher Taxes (FDR), Widespread political corruption, Korean War, Abuse of FBI and CIA power for political gain (LBJ). Massive expansion of Federal government size and scope (LBJ). Increasing Federal spending, waste and corruption(LBJ). Broad Expansion of Executive War Power (LBJ). Massive entitlement obligations, Higher Taxes (LBJ) Bay of Pigs, Vietnam, Gulf Of Tonkin Resolution. Expansion of Federal government size and scope (JC), massive increased Federal spending (JC). Increased taxes (JC), Iran Hostage Crisis and failed rescue attempt, Massive increase in Federal spending, waste, and corruption (GWB), Abuse of Justice Department power and FBI (GWB), Massive new entitlements (prescription drugs), giant new government bureaucracy (Homeland Security), acceptance of torturing prisoners and detainees, Surveillance of American citizens, gutting habeas corpus, Corporate welfare, weakening of the Rule of Law, Expansion of executive war powers, Iraq Occupation… sigh… I could go on.

This is, of course, by no means comprehensive. I intended to put together a more complete list organized by the offending One Party Rulers with linked sources for all listed offenses against freedom, but the whole exercise seriously depressed me. Perhaps we’ll revisit this at some unspecified time in the future.

Certainly, there was also much that was good that came out of these administrations. I just think we would have more good, and less bad, if we had not handed over all the keys to one party. But for now, I simply want to welcome our new Democratic Party Overlords.

x-posted from “Divided We Stand United We Fall