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Why Congress is AWOL on National Security Policy

obama-drones-congress

Matt Bennett and Mieke Eoyang, both former Washington staffers, explore “Why Congress is AWOL on national security policymaking today.” Contrasting Rep. Ron Dellums’ two-decade-long campaign to end apartheid in South Africa, they argue that today’s Members lack the staying power to exert major influence.

The American public, with its fleeting attention span, seems to focus on a problem only for the length of one news cycle, looking for neat resolution quickly. But foreign and security policy often moves at a different pace. Change takes time. America has only so many levers with which to move the world.

This disconnect between public expectations and practical reality has meant that Congress, when it gets involved at all, often looks to act within a blink. Members offer legislation with catchy titles that take haphazard steps to address devilishly tricky long-term problems. Not surprisingly, the outcomes are unsatisfying and rarely do much to solve the problem.

Yes, Congress will do oversight—but too often that gets hijacked by political sideshows like the never-ending Benghazi blame game. What members do not do much anymore is dive deep into the major questions and prepare themselves to challenge the White House—where so much of this decision-making has become centralized—or the State Department and the security agencies over the details of executive-branch policy decisions and come up with ideas of their own.

Changes in the way that Congress does business have contributed to this decline. The incessant demands to raise money for their campaigns and the new normal of flying back to their districts on Thursday and staying away from Washington until Monday mean that members simply do not have the time to dig deeply into some of these issues. When they do turn to policy, the low salience of national security issues in political campaigns—“It’s the economy, stupid”—means their staff and advisers want their energies focused largely on domestic concerns. In turn, this means that when members take the time to go overseas, they risk being accused of taking a junket, rather than seeking to better understand the world.

Within the institution itself, the centralization of power in both parties and both chambers in leadership has eroded the role of many committees where members have an opportunity to dig deep. And the sharp polarization in Congress has left fewer members willing to work together across the aisle on big initiatives.

Now, all of those things are true. But, even at the time that Dellums was a House freshman, there were cries of an “imperial presidency” with regard to foreign policy. Going back at least to FDR’s time in office, foreign policymaking—and especially the war power—had shifted almost completely to the White House and the national security staff. As the pace of decisionmaking sped up, Congress became less influential.

Still, it’s not hard to think of major Congressional interventions in national security policy in the 1970s and 1980s. The War Powers Resolution. The Church Committee. The Boland Amendment. The Goldwater-Nichols and Cohen-Nunn reforms. Congress took an active role in backing the Afghan mujahadeen against the Soviet invaders, the fights in El Salvador and Nicaragua, the first Gulf War, and the reaction to the 9/11 attacks. Still, they’ve largely deferred to the executive—or the executive has simply gone around Congress—for most of the modern era.

Bennett and Eoyang conclude,

Congress is abdicating its role in security and foreign affairs policymaking to the executive. Yet today’s world is too volatile and complex for Congress to limit itself to the pursuit of talking points and short-term solutions. We live in a time in which our defense, intelligence, diplomatic and foreign-aid infrastructures are in need of overhaul, repair or, at least, reexamination. We live in a world in which Iran is both an implacable foe and a co-combatant against the Islamic State; the Arab Spring has turned to winter; a North Korean despot has  nuclear arms and a cyber army; Pakistan is at war with itself; and Russia is occupying Ukraine. The resolution of these issues will not come from a monthlong campaign of airstrikes, nor will lasting change come simply through occupation by American troops.

In fairness, Congress did participate in a significant reorganization of our national security apparatus in the wake of 9/11, most notably the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, the restructuring of our airport security system, and a modest reshuffling of the intelligence community. There’s also been the USA Patriot Act and various other efforts.

Certainly, Congress is at least debating what to do about Iran’s nuclear program. And the administration, as administrations are wont to do, is arguing that Congress is mucking things up and endangering the great work being done with the administration. Nor has Congress been silent on Pakistan or Russia. But our national security experts—whether in government or out—have no good solution for these crises. It’s almost unfathomable that Congress will come up with one.

To a large extent, Congress is seemingly ineffective on national security affairs because, well, it’s ineffective. It’s ineffective by design and has been rendered much moreso by the speed of modern communications and the imposition of a parliamentary style of lockstep partisan voting upon a system that’s supposed to force cross-cutting compromise.

It’s also gotten worse partly because it’s gotten more democratic. In the era Bennett and Eoyang pine for, Democrats controlled the House of Representatives from 1955 to 1995 with no interruptions and the GOP only controlled it for two Congresses from 1931 to 1995.  The Senate was more competitive but Democrats still controlled it, often with filibuster-proof majorities, from 1955 to 1981 and 1987 to 1995. While there was doubtless a laudable civility that came with that order, the committee chairmen were mandarins with inordinate power and the minority had every incentive to compromise given their permanent status in that role. It’s not a slam dunk that that was better.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He earned a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Mu says:

    I think a lot of it has to do with the availability of information. Earlier wars were against identifiable nation targets or regimes. Today most we do seems to be based on clandestine information leading to clandestine interventions. There’s not much congress can take the lead on; even if members get briefed on classified stuff they can’t stand in front of congress making a speech about it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  2. Dave Schuler says:

    Why should the Congress do anything? The Obama Administration is pursuing the consensus preferences of the Congress already. With respect to terrorism, the consensus is intervention. The Obama Administration is intervening. They’re killing people with drones in Yemen and Pakistan and they’re bombing DAESH in Syria and Iraq. With respect to trade, the consensus is more accords controlling trade in a very slightly more open direction. In pursuing the TPP, that’s what the administration is doing. And so on.

    Oh, sure, you’ll get carping from the sidelines. The Republicans will complain regardless of what the administration does. They’re the other party. If they agreed with everything the administration did, they’d be same party.

    For hawks it’s not forceful enough. For doves it’s too forceful.

    The smart move for Congress is that as long as the administration is acting along the lines of the consensus do nothing. And that’s what they’re doing. Fortunately, it’s their core competency.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 2

  3. C. Clavin says:

    They are not AWOL.
    The Rebulican controlled Congress is actively trying to undermine the President and outsource nat’l security policy to Israel.
    They are not abdicating responsibility.
    They are acting irresponsibly.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 18 Thumb down 8

  4. michael reynolds says:

    Constituents don’t want representatives who know stuff and are like, smart. They want to be pandered to. They want their political erogenous zones tickled. They want validation. It’s a very narcissistic age.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  5. JKB says:

    Haven’t we just been hearing a lot of carping from the DemProgs because the Speaker of the House invited an expert on the Middle East to speak directly to a joint session of Congress? If Congress are going to be effective in national security policy, it makes sense to get the information right from the experts rather than let themselves be dependent solely upon Administration and career national security drones.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 23

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Congress took an active role in backing the Afghan mujahadeen against the Soviet invaders, the fights in El Salvador and Nicaragua, the first Gulf War, and the reaction to the 9/11 attacks.

    C’mon James, an “active role” is now the same as saying “Sure thing, Boss.”?*** I remember those days, but I’m not that much older than you.

    ***I’m not even going to bring up the “active role” Congress played in Iraq. Ooooppps, I think I just did. 😉

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  7. James Joyner says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Arguably, arming the mujahadeen was prompted more by Congress than either the Carter or Reagan administrations. It’s not “Charlie Wilson’s war” for nothing. Congress was very critical of the El Salvador death squads and actively worked against Reagan administration policy in Nicaragua, with the Iran-Contra scandal coming out of the circumvention. Congress was bitterly divided over the first Gulf War, with such figures as Sam Nunn and Al Gore in opposition. And, certainly, Congress did all manner of things in the wake of 9/11.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  8. Anonne says:

    Congress has been checked out for two decades, unwilling to declare war as is their Constitutional duty, and oversight is a joke. Unfortunately for them, this is the Hotel California – you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave. Unfortunately for us, this means we get crappy policies undertaken without enough deliberation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  9. michael reynolds says:

    So much of this goes back to Vietnam. I wonder how far we are from being able to look at the 60’s with the relative objectivity with which we try to view history. It’s hard to get distance, at least for me. But I have this feeling that I’ve underestimated the importance of the 60’s.

    I’ve wanted for a long time to write a 60’s era historical for YA. But I couldn’t do it without clearance for lyrics and poetry, and what a pain in the ass that all is.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  10. Mikey says:

    @JKB: As if the fact this “expert on the Middle East” is also the Prime Minister of Israel is irrelevant.

    Please, spare us.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  11. DrDaveT says:

    In fairness, Congress did participate in a significant reorganization of our national security apparatus in the wake of 9/11, most notably the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, the restructuring of our airport security system, and a modest reshuffling of the intelligence community. There’s also been the USA Patriot Act and various other efforts.

    I’m not sure what “in fairness” is supposed to mean here. Surely that particular litany of disastrously ill-advised knee-jerk responses is the best possible argument against Congressional participation. We certainly don’t need any more ready-fire-aim than we’re already getting.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  12. CB says:

    @JKB:

    If you want to talk shared assets and intel, by all means. We work with the IDF and the Mossad in so many obvious ways that it doesn’t even bear repeating. Call me crazy, but I don’t think that’s what you really care about.

    EDIT: AUTOPLAY ADS?? I will not abide.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  13. An Interested Party says:

    …the Speaker of the House invited an expert on the Middle East…

    Indeed…much like Pablo Escobar was an expert on drug policy…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  14. Tillman says:

    It’d be great if a rational Congress did something, yes.

    This Congress, I’d prefer they do as little as possible.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  15. James Joyner says:

    @DrDaveT:

    I’m not sure what “in fairness” is supposed to mean here. Surely that particular litany of disastrously ill-advised knee-jerk responses is the best possible argument against Congressional participation. We certainly don’t need any more ready-fire-aim than we’re already getting.

    With the possible exception of the IC reorganization, I concur. But it nonetheless rebuts the notion that Congress has been AWOL on foreign policy issues.

    I’m in the odd position of simultaneously thinking Congress needs to be much more engaged in oversight across the board than it is—that’s its job and checks and balances are crucial—and that they typically do a poor job of it. Most of the 1970s reforms were knee-jerk responses to problems that could have been ameliorated with better Congressional oversight to begin with and most of them made things worse.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  16. Scott F. says:

    @James Joyner:

    I’m in the same “odd position.” Sadly, oversight is not like practicing the piano – doing more of it isn’t going to make them any better at it. I’ve got to believe there’s a way to move oversight away from the shameful point scoring it’s used for now, but for the life of me, I don’t know what it is.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  17. Tyrell says:

    There needs to be a more aggressive policy toward dealing with the radical Islamic terrorist groups. ISIS, DAESH, or whatever continues to murder and invade other territory. So far the “containment” has had limited success. As long as that group exists, they will use whatever means to cause death and destruction in other countries.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  18. superdestroyer says:

    Isn’t this what most voters wanted. Most voters are happy that the U.S. is on the path to being a one party state. That means the the legislature is irrelevant and that the clouts and fixers in the executive branch has the real ability to influence national security policy.

    What is amazing is how no national security policy writer is willing to acknowledge that Valerie Jarrett has more influence on policy that the entire legislature. Since the legislature no longer has to really pass legislation, no longer has real influence on the budget, and has no expectation that the executive branch will even bother to comply laws and regulations passed by Congress, then why should we expect Congress to be involved in policy or governance.

    Now that David Axelrod and the rest of the Democratic Party brain trust has managed to neuter Congress, many wonks and pundits will begin to focus on how government actually operates instead of pretending that Congress operates in the way that they learned from School House Rock.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 9

  19. Mikey says:

    @superdestroyer: Did you just make this about your personal dead horse?

    I’m not even mad…that’s amazing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  20. DrDaveT says:

    @James Joyner:

    I’m in the odd position of simultaneously thinking Congress needs to be much more engaged in oversight across the board […] and that they typically do a poor job of it.

    OK, I can see that. Sort of like seeing the need to give teachers more authority in the classroom even while believing that most current teachers wouldn’t use that authority particularly well…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  21. Slugger says:

    Last October when ISIS started rolling, we discussed Congressional input on policy in these pages. At that time Mr. Boehner punted on any involvement by talking about discussing the authorization for force in Syria sometime in February. I am not holding my breath.
    The US has not declared war in the last seventy years despite plenty of shooting. AUMF’s have passed with huge margins. It seems that there nothing is easier for a President than pulling the trigger on some military action.
    The reality is that the Constitutional requirements for representative input for war making simply do not work. No one believes that military means should not be the first option out of the box with the exception of the kind of people that most Americans do not respect.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  22. JKB says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Let’s discuss the mid-1970s when the Democratic party controlled Congress reneged on a sovereign and ratified promise to supply South Vietnam with replacement military equipment needed to stave off invasion due to the North violating the Paris Peace Accords. We can discuss this involvement of Congress in National Security Policy. And Congress betrayed the South Vietnamese, not for national security reasons but for pure domestic political reasons.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  23. michael reynolds says:

    @JKB:
    And that’s why I get to write for money and you don’t. Narrow dude. Very narrow.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  24. Clifford Spencer says:

    @Mu: ,
    Should Congress ask Netenyahu if Israel was connected with IRAN-CONTRA?
    If it thought that arming Ayatollah Khomeni was a NEATO idea?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  25. Davebo says:

    @James Joyner:

    Congress was very critical of the El Salvador death squads and actively worked against Reagan administration policy in Nicaragua, with the Iran-Contra scandal coming illegal executive actions coming out of the circumvention legal congressional oversight that ensued.

    Just to be a bit clearer James.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  26. Tyrell says:

    Current news: ISIS has murdered another person – a person from Japan. There has not been a lot of statements except from Japan: no forgiveness, no mercy. ISIS needs to be sent a message and taught a lesson. Here is an idea: The President should come on tv and make a strong statement. Along with him should be Biden, Boehner, Judge Roberts,General Dempsey, especially the leader of the Muslim church – US, the head Catholic leader, and the leader of the Protestant church (Dr. Mohler or someone else): all there in unity. The message: ” we are coming after you!” In the meantime intelligence should find out who is responsible. Then send a special ops group made up of Seals and units from England, France, and Germany. If they can find Bin Laden, they can find these murderers. Enough of these outrages !
    “No prisoners!”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 8

  27. de stijl says:

    Why Congress is AWOL on National Security Policy

    Because it can affect the next primary.

    Or more importantly, it can affect the next fund raising campaign.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  28. DrDaveT says:

    @Tyrell:

    Current news: ISIS has murdered another person

    Reality check: ISIS has murdered a lot more than one additional person. Also, while you were obsessing about ISIS, a lot more people died on our nations highways. Why do you care so much less about these deaths than about “a person from Japan”?

    ISIS needs to be sent a message and taught a lesson.

    What do you recommend? Spankings? Harsh language? Sending them to bed without supper? Taking away their XBox 360s?

    Where did you get the idea that it is somehow in the US’s power to “teach them a lesson”? (Well, besides Fox News…)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  29. de stijl says:

    @Tyrell:

    Here is an idea: The President should come on tv and make a strong statement…

    That’ll teach ’em!

    Here is an idea. Let’s send in Liam Neeson. LIAM NEESONS!

    Then send a special ops group made up of Seals and units from England, France, and Germany.

    Liam Neesons should be enough. Liam Neesons can do that do that judo chop jiu-jitsu karate sockey stuff. Liam Neesons can hyper-extend the crap out those evil enemy guys’ elbows so god-damned HARD! that we can totally forget that we, as in America – in the We The People sense of the word, had absolutely no responsibility for creating – or creating the power vacuum and the atmosphere that allowed a group like IS to exist. Blowback cannot exist – I said it absolutely cannot be! [Covers ears] Shut up! Shut up! SHUT UP1!!1!Eleventy1!

    Current news: ISIS has murdered another person – a person from Japan.

    Uh oh! A person from Japan, you say? This requires some out-of-the-box thinking. Hear me out: I’m thinking ScarJo as Black Widow, maybe she’s sexy-interrogating the crap out of Lucy Liu (she’s Japanese, right?) until they decide to meet up with Jeremy Renner as not the quiver arrowey/archery dude but the (Wait for it!) Hurt Locker guy and they meet up and decide to No Mercy the crap out of those commie ISIS dudes. Crap, I forgot the Chinese market – we need Devon Aoki (she’s Chinese, right?)

    The message: ” we are coming after you!”

    I’m having problems with this as the tag-line. We need something punchier.

    Along with him should be Biden, Boehner, Judge Roberts,General Dempsey

    Liam Neesons should be enough. Liam Neesons’ kung fu is very, very good. Liam Neeson may be 62 , but he will will break your spleen from the side, then the back, and then from the other side. Liam Neeson is that good at krav maga.

    especially the leader of the Muslim church – US, the head Catholic leader, and the leader of the Protestant church

    I’m gonna hazard a guess that Tyrell didn’t take Comparative Religion as an elective. Granted, all of the words Tyrell wrote in that declaration are actual words.

    Enough of these outrages !

    I said “ENOUGH!” Good day, sir.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  30. michael reynolds says:

    @Tyrell:

    I’m afraid that would be a silly way to respond. Your plan would make ISIS seem 10 feettall again, just as they’ve shrunken dramatically. ISIS is roughly equivalent to the Mahdi rebellion in Sudan – Chinese Gordon and Kitchener and all that. We need to look at our interests, which I see as: Containing ISIS so it doesn’t become a serious regional threat.

    It seems we have already contained ISIS. They are boxed in with nowhere to go. They will no doubt morph into yt another Al Qaeda wanna-be. Annoying, but not something requiring a major US response.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  31. c.red says:

    This is more about Boehner being a political tool and Mitch Mcconnell being a political ass and those that follow them blindly than it is about policy. Congress is no more awol than they have ever been, but Republican leadership is crap and half the country wants to find any other explanation than that to explain it, because Obama something, something…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  32. superdestroyer says:

    @Mikey:

    The question that should have been asked but was not is how much oversight or even influence can the party that is out of power in the executive branch have. Is there anything that the Republicans in Congress can do and that will have real influence on national security policy.

    Look at what they cannot do.

    1. Pass legislation. If the Republican pass anything that the Obama Administration does not like, it will either be filibustered in the Senate or vetoed. There is nothing the Republican can do using the legislative process.

    2. Cut the budget. Has already been taken off the table. If the Obama Administration does not get a budget that it likes and vetos it, the Republicans are blamed for shutting down the government.

    3. Hold hearings. As has already been shown, either the Obama Administration official will avoid testifying, will not answer any questions, or can say anything and not be held for avoiding the issue. Hearings are pointless because the Republicans have no chancing of succeeding in oversight but will always been presented as the losers in the such hearing.

    It should be obvious by now that the Democrats are playing the long game of just waiting for the demographic changes occurring in the U.S. It should be obvious by now that anyone attending an Ivy League and wanting to have real influence on foreign policy or governance in the U.S. should figure out how to be the next Valerie Jarrett or Susan Rice rather than the next John McCain or Bob Corker. Being an assistant to the President means not having to talk to the media, having access to better information, being in a better position to reward your friends and punish your enemies, and not having to run for office or deal with constituents.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  33. C. Clavin says:

    @Tyrell:

    The President should come on tv and make a strong statement.

    Oooh…good idea.
    Maybe he could quote Sheriff Dillon from Gunsmoke. That’ll put the fear into ’em.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  34. Mikey says:

    @superdestroyer:

    It should be obvious by now that anyone attending an Ivy League and wanting to have real influence on foreign policy or governance in the U.S. should figure out how to be the next Valerie Jarrett or Susan Rice rather than the next John McCain or Bob Corker.

    Perhaps, but this has been true for decades. It’s not something new based on how demographics might affect legislative majorities.

    Congressional Republicans aren’t dealing with anything new, either–their situation is quite standard for the party that holds Congressional majority but not the Presidency.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  35. C. Clavin says:

    @superdestroyer:

    It should be obvious by now that anyone attending an Ivy League and wanting to have real influence on foreign policy or governance in the U.S. should figure out how to be the next Valerie Jarrett or Susan Rice rather than the next John McCain or Bob Corker.

    Well yeah…if you want to contribute it helps to be sane, rather than bat-shit crazy. (Corker does seem sane at times…but in the Party of Stupid that is a low bar.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  36. superdestroyer says:

    @Mikey:

    The difference is that in the past the party that did not control the White House had a chance of getting in back in the future. However, given that the “Blue Wall” is probably greater than 270 electoral votes, it should be apparent to everyone who can count that the Republicans are not going to regain control of the White House. Thus, why would any Republican ever desire to put any effort into national security or foreign policy when they will have no ability to influence on those policies in the future.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  37. Mikey says:

    @superdestroyer: Dunno, SD…I mean, I don’t know if you’re close to my age (pushing 50) but I remember past similar pronouncements of one party or the other being relegated to permanent outsider status, and so far none have come true.

    Does that mean “this time” can’t be different? Well, no, of course not. But at the same time American political fortune is a fickle mistress and writing either major party off could be a mistake. It’s quite possible the GOP could, in the future, gain appeal to people with whom it currently holds little favor. Stranger things have happened.

    There’s also the possibility–yes, I know it’s a slim one–that a Congress with a large majority of one party might actually decide to exercise its oversight responsibility on an Executive of the other party.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  38. superdestroyer says:

    @Mikey:

    First, past examples do not apply since it is demographics rather than policy or governance issues that are driving the trend. Romney in 2016 received the same percentage of the white vote than Reagn received in 1980. the difference being that the demographics changes in the U.S. turned the results from a win in 1980 to a bad loss in 2012.

    Also, Do you have an example of a city or a state that is dominated by one party and the legislature effectively has oversight of the executive branch. I would like to find a good example of study but have not found one yet.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  39. Mikey says:

    @superdestroyer: I’m sorry, I’m just not convinced by the “demographics is destiny” argument. There are simply too many other factors at play to get so totally reductionist. I mean, less than 100 years ago a majority of African-Americans voted Republican.

    Virginia has a Democratic governor and a heavily GOP dominated General Assembly. You could start there. I’m honestly not sure how much power the GA has relative to the Governor.

    I’d caution you though that states and cities aren’t directly analogous to the Federal government for many reasons, so what you find may not apply one way or the other.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  40. michael reynolds says:

    @Mikey:

    You’re wasting your time. Superdestroyer is our ambassador from Hateworld. It’s race every time with him. Nothing but race.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  41. superdestroyer says:

    @Mikey:
    @michael reynolds:

    First, the Republicans in Virginia have a one seat advantage. Not exactly a GOP domination. Also, most blacks alive today have never voted for a Republican. Even the Republicans will admit that blacks are a lost cause. They is why the idiot Republican keep thinking that they can pick off a significant number of Latinos and thus, keep misrepresenting the exit poll results from 2004.

    Cities and states are relevant because they show that a one party state can exist, that a second party does not naturally spring to life to compete in a power vaccuum, and that in a one party state, being a clout or fixer (See Valerie Jarrett) is more important than being an elected politician.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  42. Mikey says:

    @superdestroyer: Republicans hold a 21-19 majority in the Virginia Senate and a 68-32 majority in the House of Delegates. That’s a 38-seat advantage.

    Also, most blacks alive today have never voted for a Republican.

    Yet there are people alive today–perhaps even our fathers or grandfathers–who know or knew blacks who did. It was certainly the case early in my father’s lifetime that nearly half of blacks identified as Republican.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  43. Tyrell says:

    @C. Clavin: In this case I would prefer quotes from the “Dirty Harry” movies.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0