- April 30th, 2009
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Solidly in the ballpark of the 100 day mark, we have indeed started to see real change. This change causes some great room for worry, at least from the perspective of one sworn to defend the Constitution.
Senator Arlen Specter has changed party, leaving the Republicans and joining the Democrats. While Specter has stated that he will not be an automatic vote, the balance of power has certainly shifted such that a filibuster has become incredibly unlikely. Equally worrisome is the announcement that Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter, a 1990 appointment by President George H. W. Bush, intends to retire.
Why do these moves, by two single members of two different branches of the federal government, provide room for worry? Each change ultimately results in a lack of effective opposition. Such a lack of opposition has proven, time and time again, to be greatly detrimental to workings of this country. Left unchecked both parties have, on several occasions, crippled the United States. The Executive Branch is now steered entirely by a welfare-liberal administration. Counting the two conservative cabinet-level members as balance would be foolish at best. The Legislative Branch has come to a similar fate, with both houses controlled by the welfare-liberal ideology. Following the first Supreme Court appointment opportunity to be given to President Barack Obama, the rulings of the Supreme Court of the United States will also likely follow the welfare-liberal ideology (rather than the text to which it should adhere).
Now, much can be said about the path that ultimately led to this end. The Republican Party has been on a self-destruct course for several years, ignoring their constituency at every turn. As it stands now the leadership is hardly worthy of the title, and the party stands fractured at every level. There exists no major platform from which one may push for a return to the principles of a conservative (or classical-liberal) movement. While the Democratic Party is by no means a cohesive unit with a singular and clear focus, the party is far more united in purpose and intent. Combine that with a leadership immensely popular within their voter base, and you have a strong platform from which you may push forward a welfare-liberal agenda.
Where we go from here will be interesting, though I fear without meaningful oversight the potential for wrong turns to result in catastrophe has risen exponentially.