Friday, November 5, 2010

Keeping Fear Alive

The Democrats got their shellacking on Tuesday but really it's politics as usual for congress.  The Republicans have the rural counties and the Democrats have the urban counties.  The Republicans have 60% of the seats in the house but the Democrats have the Senate and the White House.

For the past two years, the Republicans in the House and the Senate were contrarian and obstructive. On some key bills they voted unanimously against them - unprecedented in US history.  If the Democrats were able to get their members to 'tow the line' then we'd have universal health care paid through general taxes and no one would be unhappy that they are being forced to buy something they don't want.

If the party of 'No' wants to get anything done, then they are going to have to work together with the Democrats.  But it doesn't look that way.  They've come out strong with the rhetoric saying they have a
mandate from the people and Obama better step aside or else.  They plan to repeal health care and make sure Obama is a one term president.

A little thought experiment.  Let's just pretend for a moment that only party keeps getting elected and the other one gets completely wiped out every election.  What would happen?  The lobbyists would only lobby the one party in power.  With two parties taking turns in power then lobbyists would try to influence both parties fairly equally.  The big corporations with their lobbyists certainly have their hand in policy to benefit themselves versus consumers and small businesses alike.  In that sense all big corporations act like one in the same way that if there were a third political party that both the Democrats and the Republicans would want to squash it.  However the big corporations do have to compete with each other in terms of profit, share price, raising capital through share issues, etc.  It does seem that different industries have cozied up to the two main parties unequally.  It seems that the finance industry has more influence over the Democrats than the Republicans.  When I think of Republicans, I think of big oil and big pharma/health insurance companies.

So maybe it's all for the best.  With congress split, all the different interests will be split.  At least the interests that have influence over the politicians.  But that's another story.