Saturday, March 27, 2010

Political year length

In the past little over 9 calendar years I have learned that political years are not the same. My bachelor's degree is in political science and I do not remember them ever teaching us that political years are more like dog years than human years.

Think back to 2000 when George W Bush was elected president and the House and Senate were controlled by the Republicans. We were told we had entered a new era of politics in Washington and the Democrats were going to be the minority party for the next 20-40 years. We heard that story on thru about 2005.

If you go back in time this was a first for most Americans as always during our lives the Democrats had controlled at least the House or Senate and usually the other. When the Senate went Republican in Reagan's era it was big news but 14 more years before House went Republican and then there was a Democrat president. In 2000 the Republicans in control of all three parts of elective branches was different. You have to go back to 1948 when the Republicans had controlled the House and the Senate and Truman, Democrat, was president.

Then in 2008 Obama was elected president and with him the House and Senate went Democrat. Suddenly we heard pronouncements everywhere that we had entered a new era in politics and that the Republican Party was dead and the Democrats would be in control for the next 20-40 years.

It is now early 2010 and the predictions are that Republicans will make gains this fall and could be major gains and some are calling for them to again control the House and/or the Senate. The Republicans are not behaving like beaten elephants but are giving appearances of expecting the change. We are watching predictions from Democrats on whether they will do lose control from a group that was on top one and a half years ago. Many I read say Republican gains this fall and in 2012 with majorities changing then. We are watching both sides saying a couple of issues will be the big
decision this fall (healthcare/insurance, Afghanistan and the economy), but I will wait to summer as new issues could rise.

So the Republicans were going to control it all for 20-40 years was 6 calendar years, the Democrats are going to control for 20-40 years but may be only 2-4 years, and only nine and a half calendar years. I originally was thinking dog years but now looking at that maybe it is nuclear half lives. I know there are some that think politics probably ought to be handled like nuclear waste, so maybe nuclear half lives is way to measure.