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  • Ohioblog: A Swing State Journal

    Saturday, October 30, 2004

    Weather prediction: It will be darkest after the new dawn 

    Eventually this election will be over. Then what? Norman J. Ornstein, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, is not optimistic about what the next president will face: ``Whoever wins the presidency is going to face the toughest, most rancorous and most divisive governing climate in modern times.''

    Unlike 2000, the contentiousness will not go turn into unity in the aftermath of tragedy. For President Bush's ability to govern, 9/11 was an important moment. Most people had been willing to give him chance. After the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, more were. Those feelings have dissipated.

    ``This time,'' Ornstein predicts, ``the propostion of voters who will refuse to accept the outcome if their side loses will be much higher. The situation in Congress (where relations between the minority and majority parties are poisonous) will become worse.''

    There is hope, however. It lies ultimately, Ornstein suggests, in a new generation of leaders (We Baby Boomers have botched it so far, with one president damaging the office by his personal behavior and the other by his professional incompetence.) and in a few good public servants. ``...Our best hope for creating some kind of governing center rests with 15 to 20 instutional-minded centrists in the Senate, such as John McCain (R-Ariz.), Dick Lugar (R-Ind.), Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.) and Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) - people who can, if they have the fortitude, force Senate action to the middle and away from the partisan destructiveness, and can challenge the House if it continues to exacerbate divisions by excluding Democrats from conference committees.''

    Ornstein believes this construct will be difficult to achieve. Ohioblog believes Ornstein is a sunny optimist in a day even darker than he paints.

    posted by Ohioblog: A Swing State Journal at 10:11 AM

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