A Case For Divided Government

The Cato Institute--not exactly your hotbed of liberalism--has been publishing several articles over the last couple of years advocating what they term a "divided government.' In fact, way back in 2003 (as in, before the last election) the chairman of the Cato Institute was advocating voting for Democrats:

For those of you with a partisan bent, I have some bad news:

Our federal government may work better (less badly) when at least one chamber of Congress is controlled by a party other than the party of the president. The general reason for this is that each party has the opportunity to block the most divisive measures proposed by the other party. Other conditions, of course, also affect political outcomes, but the following types of evidence for this hypothesis are too important to ignore...Read on

He repeats the same appeal for 2006 :

American voters, in their unarticulated collective wisdom, seem to grasp the benefits of divided government, and that's how they've voted for most of the past 50 years. To be sure, divided government is not the stuff of which political legends are made, but, in real life, most of us would take good legislation over good legends. As a life-long Republican and occasional federal official, I must acknowledge a hard truth: I don't much care how a divided government is next realized. And, in 2006, there's only one way that's going to happen.

Things have gotten more heated as we near the mid-term elections. Their Cato Unbound has a series of essays (including by Markos Moulitsas, and no, he didn't tell me to do this post) across the spectrum that essentially recommend that--for the good of the country--libertarians and traditional conservatives vote the Democratic ticket this election.


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