Mr. Blunt and Cranky has noticed that people tend to blame parties for not accomplishing things when a party has a majority in some part of government. He has also noticed that majorities amongst the population sometimes don’t get much done either. He has further noticed that a cohesive minority can get more done (or stop others from getting things done) than many less-organized majorities.

This is because we try to apply inflexible math to excessively flexible humans.  Politicos are not just beholden to their parties – they must also suck up to lobbyists, the news media, contributors, and (on occasion, when they can’t ignore them any longer) their constituents. Depending on the party label, they may allocate their “loyalty” differently, but few of them ever serve one master, and for those that do, the primary master is almost never their constituency.

If the label is “D”, there is almost no majority that can guarantee results – Democrats have all the unit cohesion of off-brand toilet paper in a thunderstorm. They argue even when they agree (look up Pelosi’s parable of the cup on the table), and in the end can rarely legislate effectively because they are a bunch of hair-splitting individualists. In the early part of the current Administration, we saw the truth of this.

If the label is “R”, a simple majority (or a minority, in some cases) will often suffice – because at the end of the day, Republicans may loathe each other, but they hate the Dems like dogs hate fleas.  Too, many of their lobbyists and funding sources are party loyalists. Their system is tight and (except for the occasional bunch of new shouters) very focused on party loyalty. Mess with them, and you’ll get a financial shiv in your political vitals: elected Repubs know this well, and so tend to stay in line.

The moral of the story? If you are expecting a majority of Democrats to give you what you want, you need to bust your kazoo and drive lots of voters to the polls to elect a huge majority, something above 70% if possible.  Anything less and you’ll be settling for less than you want.  51% Democrats will effectively give control to the Republicans, especially in the Senate, where the minority frequently has control of the process.

So if you like the Repubs, chill out, your people have got it together; but if you like yourself some Dems, better go out and vote for them, and drag all your friends along. You can have fun arguing with each other while you vote, just like they do.

Next time: The Constitution is Not a Buffet Lunch


Mr. B & C