Divide and Govern

Jon Rauch makes, as usual, a superb case for having different parties control different parts of gvoernment. If one party rules, both parties suffer. Here's what happens when one party dominates:

In September, Congress was very, very busy not passing appropriations bills. It managed to pass only two fiscal 2007 appropriations bills on time. This was partly because it was busy passing a ban on online gambling -=- a pre-election gift to the casino industry and Christian populists, one of Washington's least endearing coalitions. (Jack Abramoff, call your office.) It was also busy passing the Student and Teacher Safety Act of 2006, which requires schools throughout the country to allow random searches of students for weapons and narcotics, on pain of losing federal dollars.

Not content with trashing freedom and federalism in separate bills, the House efficiently trashed both together by voting to make it a federal crime to slaughter horses for human consumption. The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act would effectively shut down three slaughterhouses. It was reportedly brought to the floor as a favor to Rep. John Sweeney, R-N.Y., whose district, according to National Journal's CongressDaily, "includes the Saratoga racetrack and a strong horse community."

You want more of these priorities? Vote Republican again. You want reform? Vote Democratic. And I'd say exactly the same if the parties were in opposite places. One party hegemony produces corruption and unaccountability. You now have a chance to end it.