Kevin Drum offers an excellent summary of a three-part series from the Boston Globe on how Republican control of Congress has resulted in an amazing jump in the corruption of the legislative process. As Kevin notes "backroom deals, closed debates, abuse of legislative traditions, and procedural skullduggery are now the rule rather than the exception".
Reading this post and skimming through the Globe articles reminded me of another reason why I will vote for Kerry in this election. I like the additional checks and balances that come with government control split between the two parties. As we’ve seen in the past four years, having both the executive and legislative branches run by one party (some might argue the judicial as well) has resulted in huge increases in spending with equally large tax cuts (mostly for Republican supporters), trashing of environmental protections, attacks on personal freedom, and an expensive war that we didn’t need to fight.
Democrats, of course, are also fighting to regain control of the House and Senate at the same time they want to win the White House, although it’s not likely to happen this year. But I’m not sure having them in total control of the government would be any better than Republican domination, although it could hardly be much worse.
Divided government may result in legislative gridlock occasionally but at least that gives the people who are supposed to be our representatives time to actually read and understand the bills they’re voting on. It also allows time for others outside the "leadership" to understand what’s going on and shine a little light on the backroom crap. May not be a perfect system, but it’s much better than what we have now.