Divided or Undivided Government: That Is the Question

Some Americans believe that "divided government" is the way to go.  They believe it's healthy to have Congress and the president each controlled by people from different political parties.  Divided government, they theorize, can provide checks on the excesses of both elective branches of the federal government and can even push both sides to compromise in the so-called "center."

The biggest question the nation is fixated on right now is who's going to be the next president.  I think a bigger question might be which party will control the Senate and the House.  But a question that might be even bigger than those two is this: do we want divided government or un-divided government?

The biggest mistake voters could make next Tuesday would be putting Democrats back in control of both houses of Congress and the presidency.  The last time America had "unified" government under the Democrats (where they had both houses of Congress and the presidency) was during Obama's first two years.  Those two years led to Obamacare, our first trillion-dollar deficits, and the failed stimulus program, about which our Entertainer in Chief joked: "Shovel-ready was not as, uh, shovel-ready as we expected."  (What's the big deal?  The stimulus cost us only $831 billion.)

Unified government under the Democrats is a horrible idea.  And if Democrats get a filibuster-proof supermajority in the Senate, as they briefly had during the debate over Obamacare, they'll make America unrecognizable.  If voters just have to have Hillary, they had better put a check on her with a Republican Congress, or voters will get a lot more than they bargained for.  Fortunately, the chances of the House changing hands look remote, and the prospects for Republicans to hold the Senate are looking decent.  Therefore, a vote for Hillary is probably a vote for divided government.

Mrs. Clinton's deepening legal scandals threaten to doom her presidency.  Her use of a private server alone should be disqualifying, and the list of felonies she seems to have committed continues to grow.  Watch this video for a partial list; those violations were itemized back in October, and the list is getting longer.  On Wednesday, Nov. 2, the Wall Street Journal ran "Secret Recordings Fueled FBI Feud in Clinton Probe," a fascinating report on the rift between the Justice Dept. and the FBI over whether to investigate the Clinton Foundation.

If lawlessness and criminality in the federal government stick in your craw, and you'd like to see these bozos get their comeuppance, then voting for Clinton and her rubberstamp Democrat Congress is not an option.  The voter shouldn't expect Hillary to go after Hillary.  If the voter really thinks we need to "drain the swamp" of official corruption in D.C., then the only option is a unified government of Trump and an all-Republican Congress.  That's the only shot we have this election cycle to restore decency in D.C.

It's been going around that Hillary Clinton is the "most qualified" person ever to run for the U.S. presidency.  Would that include George Washington, who led the forces that broke with England to establish this nation?  Does it include James Madison, the Father of the Constitution?  Does it include Dwight Eisenhower, who commanded the largest military invasion in history and brought freedom to Europe?  For that matter, does it include the man Mrs. Clinton's husband beat in 1992, George H.W. Bush?

When the elder Bush was sworn into office in 1989, he had served in the U.S. House and been the ambassador to the United Nations, director of the C.I.A., and envoy to China.  He had been vice president for eight years, which included actually acting as president when Reagan was recovering from gunshot wounds.  Not only that, but Bush served in World War II as an aviator, getting shot down in the Pacific Ocean.  He was also an entrepreneur, starting up an oil business that made him a millionaire.  You can quickly scan Bush's impressive credentials at Wikipedia by scrolling down and looking at the "Contents" box.  Also, when Mrs. Clinton's husband beat him, Bush had been president for four years and had successfully prosecuted a war, making short work of it by assembling a huge coalition.  Yet, in 1992, American voters rejected the man with all the qualifications and opted for the dog, the so-called "Big Dog."

Democrats got a chance at unified government back in 1992, and they "screwed the pooch."  Two years later, voters gave both houses of Congress to Republicans for the first time in 42 years, a historic loss for the Democrats.  Democrats got another chance at unified government in 2008, and they again messed up.  Folks were so appalled by the unified government under Pelosi-Reid-Obama that they gave the House back to Republicans in 2010 in a wave election.

If Americans are so silly as to give both the Congress and the presidency to the Democrats in this election, voters will likely ping-pong back to sanity in 2018, just as they did in 2010 and in 1994 – but the damage will have been done.  So if you just gotta vote for the first female president, despite her many failings, at least vote Republican for Congress to put a check on her "excesses."

With a unified government, a President Trump would have one restraint to keep him on the straight and narrow that Hillary wouldn't have.  We don't really know what kind of president Trump would be, but I think he might pleasantly surprise us on the upside (read "The Case for Trump" by Victor Davis Hanson).  And don't worry about Trump having the nuclear codes; under a Hillary presidency, they'll end up on Anthony Weiner's laptop.

Jon N. Hall is a programmer/analyst from Kansas City.

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