Debate Forum Topic 12/22/10

Who came out on top in 2010?

As the dust settles on 2010, the interesting question for a nation that fails to keep track of successes and failures is this: Who had a better year in 2010; Democrats or Republicans?

For some, this may seem like a rhetorical question. After all, Republicans rode the anti-government spending wave of angry voter sentiment to a historic victory in November. Republicans picked up six seats in the Senate, 63 seats in the House and five new governorships.

In addition, the results from the November election will give the party its largest number of seats in state legislatures since the Great Depression, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The GOP picked up at least 19 chambers and hundreds of seats. Not only does this give them increased clout in the various states that their party now controls, but going into the next round of redistricting it gives the GOP a leg up for the next 10 years.

In just about anyone’s book, the Republicans had a very successful year.

The measure of success in Washington, too many times is who holds power and not what have you accomplished. But in the view of some pundits, success in politics shouldn’t be about how many seats your party won and whether or not you were able to keep power. It should instead be about how you used the power when you had it.

You could make a strong argument that when viewing the accomplishments of the Obama administration and the Democratic Congress in the past year, that they had a very successful year.

Politicians have tried and failed for decades to enact governmental health care. This time, they succeeded. In 2008, Democrats won the presidency and held both houses of Congress by substantial majorities.

Despite this seeming advantage in legislative clout, they were able to ram the health bill through by the thinnest of margins.  They took advantage of their opportunity and delivered. It probably was a major factor in costing them their majority.  Some would argue that it was worth it.

In addition, they passed a number of bills for their core constituencies, including their most recent success, the repeal of DADT.

Despite historic losses, a case can be made that the Democrats also had a very good year.

Forum Question of the Week:

Who had a better 2010: the Republicans or the Democrats?

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