Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Can the New Congress Deliver?

There is new leadership in Congress and it sure seems to be distracting. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is the new Speaker of the House, the first ever female Speaker to be elected. Congress certainly seems to have had a makeover, going from being a 12-year Republican controlled House and Senate to one that has become Democratic with a slim majority in the Senate but a stronger one in the House.

Last week’s election not only brought some relief from the negative campaign ads that we were so sick of seeing but it brought a new Congress, with fresh new faces, including the first ever Muslim to be elected to the House of Representatives, Keith Ellison (D-MN). What does this mean exactly?

It means that after the Congressional facelift, the Democrats are promising to bring change to Washington D.C. And while accusations of the scandal prone Republicans having a secret agenda have been flying around all week but does it really mean things are going to change?

Maybe. Republicans promised to clean up D.C. politics and run a moral and ethical congress when they ousted the Democrat majority in 1994, under Bill Clinton. Did they? Democrats don’t seem to think so. Can the Democrats become the morally superior party and redefine morality in congress? Democrats were ousted around the time Clinton was impeached after his scandal with Monica Lewinsky was revealed to the public.

Back then, everyone wagged their fingers at the Democrats and during the recent Mark Foley scandal, the Republican representative from Florida who resigned after inappropriate and sexually explicit emails between the former congressman and minor male pages went public, fingers were also wagged. So given the evidence, it seems that the majority party at the time is always the one that is more scandal prone. So power might have something to do with scandals and power may have something to do with the inability to clean politics up.


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