Hello Friends!

My life has gotten a little more grown up lately... New forever love of my life, new house, new job and officially a honeymooner Mrs.! Everything is a shiny adventure and untrodden territory. Follow along as I navigate the world of being a grown up!


Specter Makes the Switch!

As most of you know I'm an out-and-proud Democrat, but will Senator Arlen Specter's move to the "dark side" eliminate the checks and balances our nation prides itself on? With Al Franken's impending election in Minnestoa, the Republicans could easily lose their filibuster to block legislation, thus leaving Democratic power in the House, Senate and executive branch.

Specter himself has said that there are still bills which he opposes despite this turn to Democratic power. So perhaps this panic that is setting in with the GOP will not turn into a blatant "overthrow" they are imagining. Only time will tell. However, I can't help but ask myself if the Republicans have done this to themselves.

I recently questioned what it meant to me to be a Democrat. Having a Republican boyfriend, we frequently discuss certain issues and have found that we're both on the moderate end of the spectrum in many arenas. Finding common ground on the important issues wasn't something we had to negotiate in order to make the relationship work. The middle ground was something we believed in from the get-go.

So I have to ask, why do Republicans and Democrats alike have to be far-right or far-left? Is not the goal to find a solution that works for the American people? Why has the stigma of declaring myself a Democrat mean that I am granola-loving, hippie who makes her own clothes? Oh, right, I'm just a Democrat because I'm young and... what was the word again? Oh right, idealistic. I guess that's better than being old and bitter. And I digress.

But really, why does it all have to be so black and white? Why is it so hard for our politicians to find the niche that we get them re-elected in our two-party system? Sure, there are other parties, but the American public will not give them the time of day needed to be elected because they are too radical. When you think about it, though, haven't Republicans and Democrats alike been painted into their own corners of the political spectrum? Why is it so hard for someone to be a moderate in their own party?

As for Specter and Franken removing filibuster power from the GOP, I can only say that maybe now our political representation will HAVE to reach across the aisle more often to accomplish their agenda. For the GOP to accomplish anything, they will at least have to TRY to blend the party lines. But will they be too stubborn to do so? Will they be too proud of their right wing beliefs to try and work together? As I said earlier, only time will tell!


Yarsh said...

Good post.

I think your summary is actually focused on the wrong view point though. Republicans will be required to work with Democrats in order to get anything passed (or even just up for vote), but will Democrats in the Senate actually listen since they really don't even have to with a filibuster-proof congress... And with regards to your closing statement, the same can be said about the Democrats (if not more so): Will they be too stubborn to listen to Republicans? Will they be too proud of their liberal beliefs to try and work together?... Only time will tell, indeed. But I fear it will end up being partisan politics as usual (and don't get me wrong here, if it were Republicans with a filibuster-proof senate, I would expect partisan politics as well).

Tory said...

Yeah, who knows if Democrats will listen. I would hope so. Maybe that will be my next blog post. :-) I doubt it though. I can only hope for Republicans being themselves (annoying and persistent - hehe) to try and have their voices heard. Perhaps if they fight for what is important to them and Democrats listen, some common ground can be found.

I tried as hard as a I could to make sure all generlizations about bad political behavior were regarding both parties, because not one or the other is innocent.

I'd be curious to know though, why Democrats, according to you, are "more so" less willing to listen. I think as I just stated, that it goes both ways.

Heart you!

Tory said...

And, of course you would think that my post is focused on the wrong view point! Hahahaha...

Yarsh said...

It's not that Democrats are more or less willing to listen to Republicans in general, just that they don't have to listen to them with a filibuster-proof congress. Democrats have the power, so Republicans have to work with democrats if they want their say. But the same cannot be said about Democrats - they do not need to listen to Republicans in order to pass their agenda.

If Republicans had a filibuster-proof congress, it would be just the opposite - would they be willing to listen to Democrats? I don't know...

The only way that there can be true bipartisanship is if there is an even split of parties in the House and Senate. That would mean that both sides would be required to work with each other to pass anything originally coming from one side or the other.

Tory said...

How right you are... in a perfect world... :-)

Liz said...

An interesting book ( Going to Extremes) talked about the nature and roots of extremism. Basically it said sitting people down to deliberate doesn't make them come to a joint opinion, or more moderate opinion, but they tend to radicalize on whatever opinion they first held.

I think a study was done on this with doctors and juries, I'm not sure if that's how it is in politics. If you looked at the discussions during the last election, you could see this in action.

Maybe the solution would be not to have people on such extreme side, but not have people pick a party at all.

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