Why We MUST Elect a Democrat President

We've all been told a lie. In our studies of American History and Government, we were lied to. I'm going to throw a lot of numbers around in this diary, and for those who never did good at math, you might need a pencil and paper to figure this out, but I hope it explains something.

We were told that the US Government consists of three equal branches of government, but when you truly look at it, the President is clearly more powerful that either other branch, and that is especially true when the President's party is loyal to him to the very end. Remember this number, the President only needs the support of 33.4% percent of Congress to get his way. Remember these numbers, 46% of members of the House of Representates are Republicans. 49% of the Senate is Republican.

Let's look at what has happened this year. The Democrats hold 233 seats in the House of Representatives. A comfortable majority, but roughly 50-55 seats short of a veto-proof majority. Any override of a veto requires AT LEAST 50-55 Republicans.

The number of Republicans who supported the Iraq withdrawal date was two. Only about six Demcorats opposed it. 96% of Democrats supported withdrawal. 99% of Republicans opposed it. With the support of the handful of Democrats, roughly 46.5% of Congress supports the President on Iraq. That 33.4% threshold is passed. The President wins.

Of course Democrats can always cut funding, yes, but legislating withdrawal is never an option until the Republicans also back it, which seems unlikely. That's another debate.

Let's look at other issues the President has won on. SCHIP for example. When the time came to override, 229 Democrats voted to override and 44 Republicans, a respectable number. 154 Republicans voted against overriding the veto, and 2 Democrats. That adds up to roughly 36% of Congress, just past enough for the President to win. and ALL BUT 2 Democrats voted to override. Those two Democrats would not have changed anything. If all 233 Democrats had voted to override the President's veto, with the 44 Republicans, that still falls short of the votes needed to override a veto.
36% of Congress would still have supported the President. Our Democratic majority in Congress means absolutely nothing if the GOP insists on going down with the President. It is obvious to me that the GOP is attempting to bring the Democrats down with them, and it's succeeding.

In the Senate, where we've had more luck, many have asked why we can't seem to get much passed there either? Well let's look at the majority the Republicans had pre-2006. They held 55 seats to the Democrats 45, including Jim Jeffords. The Republicans needed to pick off five Democrats to get a veto-proof majority. Five, remember that number. Our majority is 51 seats. On the war, we only have 50 votes, so we need nine or ten Republicans to side with us. Nine or ten. Hagel, Smith, and Snowe were the only Republican Senators to truly back most of our withdrawal bills. Even if you pulled Coleman, Warner, Collins and Sununu, you didn't have enough. We would have if we had 55 seats, but not with only 50.

So why am I here throwing numbers at you and defending Congress? I'm not really defending them, I'm explaining through my own point of view that I think Congress' lack of power doesn't necessarily come only because Democrats are afraid of Bush. I think it comes from the fact that the GOP is willing to back the President until the very end and our majority isn't big enough to overcome that. The President alone can get whatever he wants by only keeping 36% of Congress in his grasp, thereby causing the Democratic majority to "fail" at everything they do.

This is why it is so important we elect a Democratic President in 2008. Another Republican President with a similar Democratic majority will only continue the problem. The Republicans will vote with one warped mind as long as they hold enough power to win, so until they either lose the White House or loose 67% of Congress, we will continue to lose.

I am from the school of "Democrats can win the White House." I don't think this country's population is brave enough to send a Democrat to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, especially when there's a "war" going on. I don't trust our country to do the right thing, I trust that our country is easily gullible and can fall victim to any fear tactic the GOP nominee will use to get themselves elected. As angry as we are at Pelosi and Reid, and as unsatisfied as we may be with the wishy-washy Hillary Clinton or the inexperienced Barack Obama, we need to back whoever gets the nomination, even if we have to suck it up. We need to win in 2008. If we don't win, we will always see our majority effectively be a minority.

We don't have in a Representative democracy, we've been lied to. We live in a elected authoritarian state. We elect a President with too much power. We need to elect one of ours, because a Congressional majority means nothing anymore.

Tags: 110th congress, 2006 elections, 2008 Presidential election, Barack Obama, Harry Reid, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi (all tags)

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