Texas Liberal

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Republicans Unable To Hold Long-Term Power In Washington Since 1929 Stock Crash

The Republican Party remains unable to keep a long-term hold on federal power. The 2006 election offered Republicans the chance to hold the White House and both chambers of Congress for six consecutive years. This would have been the longest stretch of Republican domination in Washington since the 1920’s. Instead, Democrats picked-up the House yesterday and may have won the Senate as well. 

Since the Crash of 1929, Democrats have held the Presidency and both chambers of Congress for a total of 32 years. In that same time, Republicans have held such power for just over six years.

In the current period of so-called “divided government,” beginning in 1968 and the election of Richard Nixon with a Democratic Congress, it has been difficult for either party to get a firm grasp on power.

Democrats held the upper-hand for all of the Carter Administration and for the first two years of Bill Clinton’s first term. Republicans have been in control for the last four years. They also held power for a few months in 2001 before Jim Jeffords of Vermont left the Republican Party and turned over Senate control to Democrats. 

The two parties remain locked in what can fairly be called a stalemate. Nearly 40 years of Republican gains since Nixon’s election have still not produced a majority party. On the other hand, Democrats must prove they can hold on to and expand what was won yesterday and find a way back to the White House in 2008.

On the verge of what would have been the longest uninterrupted hold on power in Washington since the Kennedy-Johnson years, the Republicans blew it. An argument can be made that Republicans have not yet fully recovered from the events of 1929. 

November 8, 2006 - Posted by | Elections, Political History, Politics

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