Friday, November 10, 2006


I'm kind of agnostic towards the issue of divided government (I can see it's advantages, but I don't it's always the best policy). However, I was struck by this statement by David Post extolling the virtues of split-party government:
It's more common than one might suppose; in 34 of the 54 years since Eisenhower was elected for his first term ('52), at least one branch of Congress was in hands different than the executive branch, and for my money the years in which that has not been the case (60-68, 76-80, 93-94, and 2001-06) have not been distinguished by great statesmanship or great policy-making.

I can't speak for the whole era, but encompassed in 1960-68 are both the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act, both of which rank well towards the top of my list of "distinguished...great statsmanship [and] policy-making." Maybe those are outliers, but I suspect that neither bill would have made it through a divided government, given the depths of Southern opposition and the propensity of a divided government to favor the status quo and disapprove of bold, sweeping changes.

Just a thought.


Anonymous said...

60-68 was also the run up to the Vietnam war. And the bulk of the tragic Johnson Administration

Anonymous said...

And the southern oppostion to civil rights in '60s came from Democrats