29 April 2009


The die has been cast for now. Arlen Specter’s defection to the Democrats makes it even more likely that much of their agenda is going to go through. For better or worse that is what we are going to have to live with, at least until there is enough blowback that can be attributable to these actions. Until that occurs the Republicans are fairly irrelevant, and internecine squabbles about the degree of conservatism don’t really matter. There will only be a shift when the public perceives that things have gone badly, which is not the case now. Hyper-partisanship is a waste of time.

It does not follow that the most radical policies being proposed will be enacted. A larger Democratic majority means a more varied party, and most politicians don’t vote ideologically as much as for what they perceive to be in the interests of their constituents. Inevitably there are geographical differences, and it is not yet clear i.e., that representatives from energy and industrial states are going to go along with the carbon tax. There are diverse interests at play and there still has to be some give and take and compromise. The more there is the less damage there will be, so all is not yet lost.

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