Being Right: Yes We Can

Brian Reid

For anyone who is unaware, yesterday’s voting shook things up in Washington and across the US. The Republicans are now in control of the House, and have narrowed the Democratic majority in the Senate, removing the Democrats monolithic presence in the Senate chamber since the 2008 election. The majority of state governors are now Republicans, as well.

I’m not going to sit here and spout numbers at you – that’s something you can do yourself. No, the concern of this article is not what has happened but what will hap­pen now. There are some likening this event back to 1994, when Clinton found him­self facing a Republican controlled Congress. The Republican majority in the Congress effectively forced Clinton to move his policies to a more moderate position, result­ing in increased cooperation between the parties. Or at least that’s what some would like to believe.

The truth is that partisan bickering increased twofold, with Congressional Repub­licans launching an all out assault on the Democratic President (Gingrich’s tantrum, impeachment hearings – ring a bell anyone?) and the President in turn, used the Con­gress as a foil to absorb the blame when things didn’t get done. The point of this com­parison is to show that a repeat of 1994 is exactly what we don’t need right now. The country has spoken, the people have spoken – it turns out that Hope and Change can’t fix the economy in a day as promised, and they are turning to Republican leadership to help straighten things out. Now, politics is politics – I don’t expect any kind of a hand­holding sing-a-long session to break out between the President and the newly formed Republican majority.

But the American people desire action, and two years of gridlock isn’t going to help anybody. The burden of responsibility is now on the Republicans who made gains yes­terday. They must be able to differentiate between policies pushed by the president that would hurt our nation and ones that could have the potential to move us forward. Like a young tree, Republican leadership must be firm yet willing to yield to the breeze, in this case the will of the American people. I, for one, am hopeful for the first time since 2008. Oh, the irony.

As a short aside, which I only mention as a concerned native New Yorker, I feel a deep disappointment upon the election of Status Cuomo. Having lived in Upstate all my life, I see the people shifting under the taxes imposed to support corrupt unions, build baseball stadiums downstate and construct power lines over our houses. The state of New York has become emetic to small businesses of every kind, and with this election I fear that many people will have no choice but to continue the current trend that is plaguing upstate New York. Ultimately, they will leave New York for a state that does not gouge its own people.