Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Balance of Power

Well, the Republican party has held on to the executive branch and has increased its hold on the legislative. According to CNN, Republicans gained at least 2 (and possibly 4) seats in the Senate, bringing the total to 53 to 44 with 2 undecided. They have gained 4 seats in the house (231 to 200 with 1 independent and 3 undecided) and had no net gains or losses to the control over state governorships (28 to 21, 1 undecided). And, of course, Bush defeated Kerry with 286 electoral votes and 51% of the popular vote. So it would appear that conservatives now have the capacity to undo a great deal of the damage that the left has caused to this country and no excuses for failing to make the attempt.

Of course, this was largely true four years ago as well. I don't want to dampen the justifiable enthusiasm that Republicans are feeling at the moment, but when the euphoria wears off in a week or two, we will still have a country to run.

I trust President Bush to prosecute the War on Terror and to keep taxes low. But we also need to cut domestic spending and do something to restrain the judiciary (the one branch of government where conservatives are not obviously in control). Now that reelection is not an issue for Bush, he needs to challenge Congress to approve (or at least bring to a vote) his judicial nominees and he needs to lead his majority to return to a policy of fiscal responsibility.

If conservatives really believe that small government is good for the the country, they will see that these moves will ensure a strong prospect for continued political dominance. The actions of the Republicans in the next few months will be the test of whether they actually do believe that.

UPDATE: Eh. While I was writing that, the two undecided Senate seats have come in for the Republicans. The score is now 55-44 with one independent.

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