A grand old party indeed

It was like waking up alone in a car going 100 mph down the highway and I was in the back seat.

It was disorienting and more than a bit disturbing.

That was last Wednesday, when I found myself in an America in which the Republican Party had full control of two out of three branches of the federal government.

It shook me, but I think I can deal with it.

I'm not anti-Republican by a long shot. I actually voted for the first George Bush, but that was my first presidential election in 1988 and I'll admit I haven't gone that far since.

Of course, I did vote for Nader two years ago, so I guess that counts, too.

Anyway, there are lots of things I like about Republicans.

Number one, Republicans can throw a mean party. I went to a crawfish boil down in Baldwin County in Alabama one time that could have brought Richard Nixon back from the dead, except I think he was still alive at the time.

And Republicans are good to have as relatives (and I have more than my share) because they generally have really nice houses. On the other hand, those drunken debates over how to fix the health care system can really ruin Christmas.

Here's a little side note on that issue, by the way. When I worked as a patient representative in a hospital in Mobile I personally wrote off many thousands of dollars as part of Medicaid's "agreement" with health care providers. I also was the last person to see any number of patients who were rolled out the door with $50,000 bills but no job or insurance, so that was lost money, too.

And then you wonder why an aspirin costs $60 when you're in one of those places.

Well, moving right along, there are a number of issues on which the average Republican and I see eye to eye. I like tax cuts, I'm all about personal responsibility, I think there are too many people who think living on welfare forever is an acceptable situation and I have no problem with the concept of the death penalty so long as we make sure we kill the right person.

Kill, not execute. Let's be honest here.

But of course there is that little tendency by the GOP toward legislating morality and world domination that I do find distasteful.

However, the point is that the reason we have a three-pronged federal government (executive, legislative and judicial) is to provide a system of checks and balances. That no longer exists and can't be restored for another two years.

If you're wondering about the judicial branch, Republican presidents appointed seven of the nine Supreme Court justices. That doesn't necessarily make them conservative since they are pretty much there for life and can do whatever they want, but they remain beholden to an extent.

Thus, since the Republicans stand unopposed within our own government they are, practically speaking, unopposed throughout the world.

Like I say, there are a lot of things I like about Republicans. Elephants are much cooler than donkeys, and they do share that mascot with the Alabama Crimson Tide, so I guess I can cope.

Good luck to the rest of you.

Ed Brock covers public safety and municipalities for the News Daily. He may be reached at (770) 478-5753 ext. 254 or via e-mail at ebrock@news-daily.com.