2.03.2006 | Checks and balances – remember those?



Gearing up for November's Congressional mid-term elections, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has put together an excellent (though admittedly highly partisan) Web site explaining why checks and balances are a good thing in our system of government. When President Bush announced in his State of the Union Tuesday that he was going to continue ordering wiretaps without any sort of Congressional oversight, the majority party stood up in unison to applaud him. We need to have a group of lawmakers in Congress who are going to enforce the rule of law and hold the president to account.

Time and time again this Republican Congress has put loyalty to the president above the nation's best interests. In one case, the now notoriously confusing, expensive and ineffective Medicare prescription drug plan was passed by one vote because the House Majority Leader (pictured above, who is now facing money laundering charges in his home state of Texas) held open the vote by 15 minutes while promising the last swing vote to do some political favors for his son. This is what our government has been reduced to. In the ten years since Republicans first took office and promised reform, they have brought themselves to the point it took Democrats 70 years to reach.

We need some real change and real reform this November. As a former independent, I will tell you first: always vote for the best candidate. There are (be they few) reform-minded Republicans out there. But if it's a split decision, vote Democrat. A Democratic majority in just one house of Congress will bring the system of checks and balances back to our government that has been the pillar of our democracy since its founding.

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