Saturday, October 25, 2008

60 Democrats. Good or Bad. Discuss

As we near the homestretch, the big drama now is whether Democrats can capture 60 seats in the Senate, a filibuster-proof majority.

A month ago, that would have been impossible. Today, it's not out of reach.

But oddly, I've heard some of my staunchest Democratic friends say that they're not sure it's a great idea. These died-in-the-wool Democrats have suggested that Democrats need a healthy Republican minority to keep them in line, to rein in any potential excesses that could lead to too swift a decline in Democratic fortunes.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Republicans like David Frum, who can see the writing on the wall for McCain, are also suggesting that Republicans should give up on the White House and try to preserve Senate seats, and arguing that a filibuster-proof Congress would give in too many liberal temptations for most Americans.

Yet, my husband and others I know see it the opposite way: basically, that Republicans have so messed up everything that the only way to get the country back on course is with a filibuster-proof majority. That it's important to have a large majority not only investigate the criminality of the Bush years, but put in place the policies for health care, energy, and regulation that we need to get out of the mess we're in.

I kind of see it both ways. I mean, the majority would be very useful...if Democrats could be trusted to hew to sound policies (even for their own good). I do think Democrats wouldn't go quite as far off the deep end as Republicans have done these past eight years. But I'm not sure I don't want SOME kind of watchdog nipping at their heels.

So what do you think? Go for broke? Or have a few Republican watchdogs around on a very tight leash? Which is ultimately better for the blue team?

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