By Alan Caruba
Like all political junkies, I have been watching events unfold over the passed month and one thing has emerged with certainty. We are in for a long period of the most angry and determined acrimony between the players in the Republican and Democratic parties. While real politics involves compromise to achieve any end result, that is not likely to happen in the nation's capitol.
We are looking at the potential for legislative deadlock much of the time, so most of the work of the next Administration will be undertaken via the vast powers of the office of President to appoint his own people to run the various departments and agencies, to appoint judges and district attorneys. It will be the unglamorous brick and mortar work of government, but it will be important work.
Congressional insiders, however, point out that many Representatives and Senators will be up for re-election in 2002, and this may lead to the passage of some legislation so that they can "point with pride" to having accomplished something. Meanwhile, though, the sharp philosophical divide between the two parties has rarely been so clearly defined since prior to the Civil War. We are at a very real turning point. The next two years are going to be a battle for the hearts and minds of that mere half of all registered Americans who actually vote.
The ceaseless theme, however, will be the historic hatreds that have built up over the past eight years of the Clinton-Gore Administration, culminating in the delay in the election result that was solely the decision of Albert Gore, Jr. Don't look for him to go away. Instead, he will be the rallying leader of a Democratic Party that genuinely believes the election, the closest in history, was "stolen" from them. It wasn't. And it doesn't matter.
The Democratic Party will now work its most dependable segments into frenzy, telling them over and over again they have been victimized by the "evil" Republicans. The process began before the election when Clinton gave an interview to Rolling Stone blaming the Republicans and Ken Starr for his troubles. The paranoia of the Clinton's pleadings these days defies any rational examination of the facts. His is a failed presidency beginning with his rush to force acceptance of gays in the military, the Waco slaughter, and Hillary's attempted takeover of the nation's health system and the unprecedented scandal involving a White House intern.
All he managed to do was lose control of Congress to the Republican Party for the first time in forty years and, of course, it was their fault, not his. We are looking at two forty-carat Generation X-ers in Clinton and Gore. Anything and everything that ever went wrong in their lives was someone else's doing, not theirs.
The Democratic Party, meanwhile, has gone so far Left and become so obsessed with getting and keeping power, it verges on a totalitarianism rarely seen in modern politics. It prefers the wife of a dead Missouri candidate than the living Republican who ran against him. It prefers a Senator from New York whose only qualification is that she is married to a soon to be former President. It prefers a Senator from New Jersey whose election spent $60.8 million, at least half of it his own money, to literally buy the job. The Democratic Party is home to a caucus of "progressive" Democrats whose politics read like a Kremlin text of failed socialist programs.
Twice now in the past few years, Clinton and now Gore have dragged this nation through periods of upheaval and uncertainty due entirely to their personal failures of character. Clinton lied through the better part of 1998 about the tawdry affair with Monica and Gore has held us hostage for over a month past the election date because of his obsession with winning at any cost.
The cost, though, will be the acrimony to follow. It has swept over the political classes, drenching them, dividing them, setting the stage for struggles that bode ill for a nation that has traditionally "come together" after an election. Don't look for that to happen. Listen for the sound of knives being sharpened.
Alan Caruba writes "Warning Signs", posted weekly at www.anxietycenter.com, the Internet site of The National Anxiety Center.
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