While I respect Melanie Phillips, author of Londonistan, she perhaps has read a little too much into the Democratic victory this past Tuesday. At least I hope she has.
In her article today, “America Falters”, she writes:
…the most likely outcome of these mid-term elections is another major terror attack on America. Whatever the smart analysis of the likely shape of domestic American politics over the next two years, America has now signalled a faltering of resolve; and that’s the cue for a redoubled Islamist attack.
Perhaps it is because Ms. Phillips lives in a parliamentary system, where the legislative and executive branches are essentially one; where if, say, Labour wins the parliamentary elections, they also get to form the executive branch.
We’ve got a different system, and one that reflects the brilliance of the Founders. Some call it gridlock, but it also ensures that if one branch of government goes wobbly, as Congress has, another branch of government, the Executive, can still stand tall. For a while, at least.
I’d like to think that our Islamic enemies, and they are legion, don’t misunderstand us. Democrats, with some exceptions, are not traitors, and will not willingly expose us to major terrorist attack. The fact that the Democratic majorities are slender in both houses of Congress also insulates us against really stupid things coming out of the legislative branch.
Something else that foreigners, however close to us they may be, sometimes fail to grasp is the significant overlap between Republicans and Democrats when it comes to core issues. Very much including national security.
Further, if you look closely at some of those who were elected as Democrats this time around, I don’t think you’ll find too many cheese-eating surrender monkeys among them. I don’t think that Jim Webb (congratulations, Marine) is a cut-and-run kind of guy. I don’t think that Heath Shuler is, either. And then there’s Joe Lieberman, who I would have voted for as many times as I could get away with, if I lived in Connecticut.
This transfer of Congressional power is a good thing, as it may get us turned around on Iraq. It also should inform my Republican friends that they can’t come to town on a “Contract with America” and then piss all over it, without getting kicked out.