The hypocrisy of the ‘One-Party Rule’ Gambit

The McCain campaign is now warning against “one party rule” if Obama is elected president at at time when there will likely be a Democratic landslide in the House and the Senate.

Well, first of all, having one party in control of the White House and Congress could have the benefit of allowing them to unite to get something practical done about the financial crisis (remember that one?)

Second, the Democrats do not have the supreme court, and there is no early prospect of a firm Democratic majority on it. The conservatives on it are still fairly young and energetic. Thomas and Scalia are very far right, and Alito and Roberts only a little less so. Kennedy is a swing vote but not exactly a liberal. The likely retirements will mostly come from the ranks of liberals, so that Obama and a Democratic congress will only be able to maintain a status quo. It is true that they can stop a far-right putsch on the Court, but that is hardly one party rule.

Moreover. the Republicans did have one-party rule in 2000-2006 and really did have all three branches of government under their control. Can anyone think of any major Republican leader in that period who argued that it was a bad thing and who urged voters to cast ballots for Democrats in order to restore some checks and balances?

On the contrary, the Republicans seriously considered abolishing the Senatorial tradition of requiring 60 for the passage of especially important measures such as confirming justices. They wanted to be more, not less, powerful, to exercise the prerogatives of one-party rule without let or hindrance.

McCain would only have credibility on this issue if he denounced the Republican majority in all three branches of government in 2000=2006.

I don’t think he did.

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