Will history repeat itself? Will the Dems go hog wild again? Personally, I think that Daddy Bush is going to play a major role during the next two years, providing much needed adult supervision of his idiot spawn behind the scenes – encouraging Junior to use the veto pen. At least I hope so.
Also, while Pelosi is an economic socialist, she isn’t stupid. She wants to be more than a one-term Speaker. She can’t get there by spending like mad and pushing all kinds of new income redistribution scams and pork through the legislature. There will likely be a minimum wage increase – assuming Bush signs it – and attempts to restore the very minor tax cuts passed in recent years (that did not come with spending reductions). That will be bad enough, but not as bad as the war we would likely have had with Iran and possibly North Korea had the Repubs maintained power. We are going to have significant amounts of spending with either party in charge – but I don’t think the Dems can really do worse than the latest version of the Republican Party has done.
I think Pelosi, as repugnant and socialist as her economic views are, understands fully that with many new moderates and several new Blue Dogs in the freshman class, she cannot expect to ram through gobs of new expensive programs without resistance from the newbies who want to hold onto their seats for more than one term. She also knows the nation’s “conservatives” are expecting her to go hog wild. I think she may show some restraint – against her natural impulses – in order to maintain the Party’s grip on the House and to prove them wrong. With a little luck, some of the senior members of the Blue Dog Coalition will get chairmanships. Pelosi’s restraint may not last more than two terms – and especially not if a left-oriented Dem is elected in 2008 (possible, but doubtful). However, I just don’t see the world going to hell over the next two years simply because Pelosi is Speaker and Bush is an self-serving opportunist with no spine.
It won’t be a paradise and I don’t expect spending to increase or decrease dramatically – unless the new crew has the balls to begin a quick withdrawal of Iraq (unlikely, but possible). However, I just don’t see the looming disaster and major spending spree that some do (as if the Repubs hadn’t been doing that for 12 years now). I really believe that this crew wants to stay in the majority more than one or two terms.
We shall see who is right soon enough.
James Landrith is a Marine Corps and Gulf War veteran, libertarian, civil liberties activist and founder of Pious Pagan Publishing.