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Wednesday, January 5, 2005
109

By Steven Taylor @ 8:58 am

As we all know, the 109th Congress was sworn in yesterday. Setting aside any partisan positions, all Americans should feel pride at these types of events-218 years of unbroken elections and biennial ceremonies installing new Congresses. It is a testament to the strength and enduring nature of our democracy. Further, as annoying as Congress and individual legislators can be, it is always worth remembering that the very heart of democratic governance is the legislature. Such an institution embodies the idea of power from the people in terms of both their manner of election and the fact that their job is to attempt to represent a myriad of interests in the public as a whole. A legislature is an institution in which the power to make policy is dispersed among a number of persons, unlike the executive in which there is only one elected official wherein power is consolidated.

Further, as one of three branches in a system of separated powers and checks and balances, the Congress of the United States is iconic of the genius of the US Constitution.

Indeed, the mundaneness of the event demonstrates the degree to which democratic institutions are wholly engrained in our minds and culture.

All of his is something to think about as the Afghans and Iraqis attempt to construct functioning democratic institutions in their own countries.

So, yes, yesterday was a great day for the United States.

Of course, WaPo wasn’t in an especially romantic mood yesterday, given the first sentence from its write-up of the day (109th Congress Convenes With Larger GOP Majorities

Friends call them “the magnificent seven,” although some liberals might contend that “malevolent” is a better term.

And the AP is already looking for a fight (also the first sentence of the piece):

Setting the stage for an early showdown in the new Congress, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist intends to seek quick approval for one of President Bush’s judicial appointees, threatening a rules change if Democrats try to block action.

The NYT piece actually focuses on the swearing in and stuff.

Perhaps the reporters at the Post and the AP have been in DC too long and have gotten a tad jaded, shall we say.

  • Mark A. Kilmer\’s Political Annotation linked with A New Congress
  • Mark A. Kilmer’s Political Annotation » A New Congress linked with a pingback

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