Friday, February 24, 2006

Thursday, February 23, 2006

More on the Ports

Slate has a column that answers a question that no one seems to be asking - what does it mean to run a port? Basically, they load and unload ships and match cargo with truckers. They also deal with the dockworkers union.

The big fear seems to be that a company owned by a company owned by the UAE would infiltrate dockworkers with terrorists or terrorist sympathizers. This is needlessly complex. If you want to mix terrorists in with dockworkers then have them apply for openings. Depending on multiple layers of non-Arabs to do the hiring guarantees exposure. Remember that the actual security will still be handled by the Coast Guard.

In the meantime this column in Slate points out that Republicans need to shut up and support Bush. They cannot help him or themselves by giving the Democrats high ground on a non-issue. Michael Reagan points out that his father rode the Carter giveaway of the Panama Canal all the way to the White House. If Bush doesn't get his PR act together on this, his party will suffer.

Any Storm in a Port

Everything you think you know about the Dubai/port deal is probably wrong. The facts as presented come out as:
  • We are giving control of our ports to Dubai, part of the United Arab Emirate.
  • Two of the 9-11 hijackers were from Dubai
  • Some al Qaida money may have been funneled through Dubai banks.
The conclusion is that once the Arabs take over the ports they will help smuggle in terrorists. This conclusion was reached by both Little Green Footballs and the DailyKos (which immediately concluded that Bush must have sold out).

Both Congressional Republicans and Democrats have jumped on this, objecting. Bush replied by threatening a veto. This is an important threat coming from a president who has never used the veto.

So what is going on? Ann Colter makes this observation:
The idea that the Democrats have any meaningful interest in America's national security is a joke, so I'm perfectly willing to believe there's more to this port story.
There's a lot more to it. First, Dubai is not taking over the ports. The company that manages the ports is being sold by their British owners to Dubai Ports World which is partly owned by the Bank of Dubai which in turn is run by the government of Dubai which is considered an ally in the Global War of Terror.

The security in the ports will continue to be provided by the US Coast Guard and the ports will be managed according to strict guidelines. It's hard to see quite where the problem is. Michelle Malkin worries that sensitive security arrangements will be made available to the UAE but considering how many levels separate the UAE from the people actually running the ports (the same one running them now) and al Qaida's intention to overthrow the UAE these objections seem overstated.

That hasn't stopped some xenophobic conservatives from worrying but this is mainly a shoot-from-the-hip reaction. Check the link at the top of this post for the details.

But what is the Democrat's angle?

They already announced that their strategy this Fall will be to insist that they can protect us better than President Bush does. It has even been suggested that they run on the fact that no 9-11s happened on their watch (Although 2-3 years worth of planning did take place plus the first attack on the World Trade Center).

The Dubai issue is perfect for the Democrats. The truth doesn't matter. All that matters is that they make a fuss now. Regardless of what happens, they will come back in November and say that they tried to protect the US from terrorists.

So what will happen if the deal falls through? Bush has spent a lot of effort since 9-11 insisting that we are not at war with the Arab world. If the US government says that we do not trust any Arab countries there will be repercussions. Will any of them work with us again? Do Democrats even care if they mess up foreign relations?

Worse, Dubai might even send Michael Jackson back to the US.

Monday, February 20, 2006

What Makes a Prosperous Nation?

We have been pushing democracy in the middle-east as the solution for terrorism. Some elections have come out "wrong" with Islamic fundamentalists winning. This has led for people on both the left and right to suggest that these countries need a strong ruler more than they need democracy.

They have it wrong. There is more to building a successful nation than just having an election. Some of them can be accomplished without democracy, some of them lead to democracy.

The first requirement is a working law enforcement system. This means that the laws are fair and that they are applied fairly. This requires an honest legislature, police, and court system. This is tough. This is also where democracy comes in. When government is ruled by a dictator, strongman, or party, there is a push to bend the laws to help friends and hurt enemies. The less answerable the government is to the population in general the more it will help special interests.

Next, a country needs strong property rights. This includes the right to earn money, even large sums of it. This is how nations create wealth. People invest their money and expect a return. If the return is confiscated because it is too large or because someone in the government wants it then the money will not be invested (or will be invested elsewhere which amounts to the same thing). Europe has strong respect for laws but is growing less respectful of property rights. That is one reason that they have had poor growth for decades.

As I said, democracies are more likely to create the conditions I have listed. They can also come from a constitutional monarchy which is how England prospered in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Democracies have their own needs. Many of these enhance the other conditions I mentioned. These include freedom of speech, the press, and religion. These are all interrelated which is why they are covered in the First Amendment.

Free speech is important in order to prevent one political party from suppressing the opposition. A free press is how free speech makes itself heard.

There is a slippery slope where free speech or a free press is limited for what seems like a good reason. Once the precedent has been established it can be extended.

I've said before that standing up for free speech is easy when you agree with it. The true test is when you don't agree with it.

The left is failing that test at home.

First there are the Mohammed cartoons. The response from the left is to say that free speech is important but the cartoons should never have been printed in the first place because they are offensive. Implied is the promise that this will never happen again. There is some talk in Europe of formalizing this promise.

Then there is straight-out political speech.

A few weeks ago several Columbus churches filed a complaint with the IRS about a few large, conservative churches. The churches had invited Ken Blackwell to speak on gay issues and the law. The complaining churches felt that this was a violation of church and state.

The thing is that some of the complaining churches have a long history of political activism, especially the Unitarian Universalists. The object of the complaint was to threaten conservative churches, not to point out a legitimate conflict.

In Minnesota the Democrats have gone further. Two ads have been run in support of the war in Iraq. One includes military who served in Iraq, the other features the families of soldiers killed in Iraq. Both state that we must fight al Qaida over there so that we do not have to fight them over here. The Democrats response has been to declare the ads un-American and to try to have them taken off the air. This is not a First Amendment issue since the government is not involved but it is still an attempt at suppressing political speech. For a state party head to try this shows a total disrespect for the basic precepts of democracy.

I think that it is fair to say that anyone who does not protect our rights at home should not be trusted to lead us.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Very Interesting... But Stupid

Stanley Fish in the New York Times thinks that the Danish cartoons should have been self-censored. His reasoning? First he say that the editor is liberal which he describes as:
The first tenet of the liberal religion is that everything (at least in the realm of expression and ideas) is to be permitted, but nothing is to be taken seriously. This is managed by the familiar distinction — implied in the First Amendment's religion clause — between the public and private spheres. It is in the private sphere — the personal spaces of the heart, the home and the house of worship — that one's religious views are allowed full sway and dictate behavior.
As for Moslems, he defends them this way:
One of those arguments goes this way: It is hypocritical for Muslims to protest cartoons caricaturing Muhammad when cartoons vilifying the symbols of Christianity and Judaism are found everywhere in the media of many Arab countries. After all, what's the difference? The difference is that those who draw and publish such cartoons in Arab countries believe in their content; they believe that Jews and Christians follow false religions and are proper objects of hatred and obloquy.
So, it's ok for me to say anything I want as long as I believe in it strongly? But if I believe in something like free speech then I am supposed to censor myself?

But Fish goes too far in defending Moslems. Mohammed said that Christians and Jews are "people of the book" and to be respected. This isn't a custom added after the Prophet's death. It is in the Koran.

But I would bet that the editors who have run the cartoons do not believe that Muslims are evil infidels who must either be converted or vanquished. They do not publish the offending cartoons in an effort to further some religious or political vision; they do it gratuitously, almost accidentally. Concerned only to stand up for an abstract principle — free speech — they seize on whatever content happens to come their way and use it as an example of what the principle should be protecting. The fact that for others the content may be life itself is beside their point.
We fight wars over abstract principles like freedom of speech. Fish seems to think that no one can hold strong beliefs worthy of respect unless they are inspired by religion.
The argument from reciprocity — you do it to us, so how can you complain if we do it to you? — will have force only if the moral equivalence of "us" and "you" is presupposed. But the relativizing of ideologies and religions belongs to the liberal theology, and would hardly be persuasive to a Muslim.
Maybe so, but Fish's argument does not persuade me. You cannot tell me that Moslems have the right to denigrate the West and to take offense when the West retaliates.

For a different take on Fish's article, see this.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Politics as Usual

Paul Hackett, an Iraq war veteran who is critical of President Bush and a favorite of Democrats nationwide, was forced to drop out of the Ohio Senate race leaving Sherrod Brown unopposed for the Democratic slot. Democrats are blaming Washington. I blame Ohio. This is how politics in Ohio operate. Eight years ago the same thing happened to Ken Blackwell. In both cases, it was strongly suggested to the candidate that he should withdraw from the race if he ever wanted to see any party support again. Hackett complained that some of his potential donors were called and asked not to donate.

The Republicans tried to do the same thing to Blackwell again for 2006 but he is too popular.

Both parties prefer a bland candidate with a long history of working with the party over a popular candidate. They choose a candidate based partly on his last name (both Taft and Brown have long political histories in Ohio).

The biggest objection from my point of view is that they don't want to let the public have a voice in the selection. Officially the objection is that primaries cost the state too much money. Unofficially the complaint is that a primary run costs the candidate too much money ad can eave him damaged.

I don't care. We are a democracy. We should be giving the people as much voice as possible. After all, look at what we got when the party chose. By anyone's measure, Taft was a mediocre governor. Worse, the Republicans have been mired in scandal. Taft himself was convicted of minor campaign finance violations.

Ironically, a primary is the best thing that could happen to the Democrats' governor's race. Blackwell already has name recognition. Running against him will be difficult. A primary would help name recognition.

Brown has his own problems in the senate race. Ohio Democrats now feel that he got a free ride. I expect that many will stay home. After all, DeWine, the current senator, is fairly moderate. His defeat would help Democrat gain control of Congress but DeWine by himself does not inspire the strong feelings that turn out the vote. Worse, Democrats nationwide are now mad at their leadership in Washington. MoveOn is considering opposing "right-wing" Democrats. It is unlikely that a far-left candidate who replaces an incumbent will do as well at the polls.

Republicans still hope to substitute a different candidate than Blackwell and will have a similar result. The way to get voters to the polls is to allow popular candidates to run.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Why Do They Hate Us?

I was glancing through Carvelle and Begala's book Take It Back. I only had time to glance over it but the two sections I looked at dovetail in an interesting manner with current events. The first part I glanced at was an attack on Bernard Goldberg's book Bias. They dismiss him as a crank because he does not provide any figures or graphs, just personal anecdotes.

I flipped further (forward) and looked at the section on terrorism. They quote President Bush's post 9/11 speech saying that they (the terrorists) hate us for our freedoms. No, say Carvelle and Begala. They don't care about our freedoms. The reason they hate us is that they don't like their governments. This has been a recurring theme among the Left for the last four and a half years but I have yet to see any proof for it. Where are the figures and graphs that they expect Goldberg to provide?

Granting that the US recognizes the middle-Eastern governments and provides support in the form of trade agreements and, in the case of poorer countries like Egypt, direct aid. We also make military sales to some of these countries. I will even go so far as to grant that we gave direct support to some of these countries during the cold war. The problem is that Russia and the defunct USSR did the same. So where are the anti-Russian protests?

To examine this further, we have a group of ex-patriot Muslims living in Germany. Are we to believe that they were so full of hate that they would kill themselves along with the passengers of four planes to protest their governments but that they would not strike at those governments?

Bin Laden makes statements about the corrupt Saudi government but he strikes at the West. You can speculate about the Saudis buying him off but if he really hated them then he would find other funding and strike at them.

Then there are the protests. The people in totalitarian countries such as Iran and Syria may be afraid to protest their governments but that shouldn't stop Muslims living in Britain. So where are the protests over conditions back home? There aren't any. Instead they protest Danish cartoons and the US overthrowing a repressive Arab government.

What says it all was an anti-American protest over the cartoons. One of the protestors explained that they were protesting the US because we lead the West so we are responsible for anything that happens in it.

And that is why they hate us.

They don't like free speech. They have issued fatwahs against democracy. Their conception of government is totally at odds with ours. Carvelle and Begala don't get this at all. Heaven help us if anyone listening to these bozos is in charge of protecting our nation.

What to Do About the Cartoons?

When my daughter was young she discovered that she could get almost anything by masking enough of a fuss. Eventually her mother would give in to keep peace in the family. My feeling was that she was that giving in might provide short-term peace but it assured more fights in the future.

As Moslem protests continue over the Mohammed cartoons, the European Union is suggesting some sort of "voluntary" rules to prevent future occurrences. The Moslem world is making a fuss and the West is giving in in the interests of peace.

Of course, there are many agendas involved. Iran and Syria are distracting the world and their own populations from other issues - Iran's nuclear program and Syria's interests in Lebanon. Regardless, this is a world-wide protest. The same thing happened last year when a report was published that American guards flushed a Koran down a toilet.

It should be remembered that the Danish editor who ran the cartoons didn't wake up one morning and decide to insult Islam. He was outraged himself that artists in Denmark were already afraid to draw the prophet for a children's book. The cartoons were a protest.

It should also be remembered that some of the cartoons are not offensive. One is straight-forward. Two incorporate Mohammed and the crescent (although some people are offended because this appears to give the prophet horns). The best of them shows a cartoonist looking over his shoulder in fear while drawing a face labeled "Mohammed". For some reason these cartoons are never mentioned but the one with the bomb in the turban is described in every news report. Just do a Google News search for the words "bomb", "turban", and "cartoon" and see how many hundred hits you get. In this way the news media are cooperating with the protestors by making it seem that all of the cartoons are offensive.

While I'm listing things to remember I should add that prior to these protests, the main stories in the news about Moslems involved the death count from Iraq (due to bombs) and Iran's nuclear program (building The Bomb). To most of the West, the face of Islam wears a bomb.

So what should be done? I think that we should go ahead and fight it out. More papers should print the cartoons. All papers should print them. Daily. Eventually the Muslim world will get tired of the fight. They will see that derision by non-believers does not affect their own faith.

Otherwise we will continue to suffer from hyper-sensitive hypocrisy from the Moslem world. After all, how can they complain about twelve cartoons (or fifteen counting the three fakes that have been distributed in the Moslem world) when they are producing movies like Valley of the Wolves. This movie shows American troops led by Gary Busey attacking an Iraqi funeral and kidnapping guests who are harvested for body parts by Billy Zane. This sort of slander appears daily in the middle-east and is watched by the same people protesting Danish cartoonists.

A better model for protest would be the fish wars. Many Baptists and other Christians use the fish symbol for Jesus. In response, some people started putting Darwin fish on their cars. These are similar fish, facing the other way with small feet and the word "Darwin" on them. The Darwin fish are making fun of the religious beliefs of many Christians but instead of protests and death threats, they responded with a bigger Jesus fish labeled "truth" eating a Darwin fish. Both sides have escalated from there. This site, for example, has 40 different anti-Jesus fish including the ever-popular Gefilte Fish (they also have the cartoons). This is how to fight religious arguments - with the bumper sticker.

Anyway, the issue is free speech vs. accomodation. The measure of free speech is not how far you go to protect things that you believe in, it is how far you go to protect other people's words. The cartoons were published as a political protest over existing limits on freedom of speech. Moslems are using this to try to formalize these limits. Regardless of how you feel about the cartoons, if you believe in free speech then you cannot apologize for them being printed nor can you agree to future restrictions.

One last thing to remember - speech in Europe isn't as free as in America. Europeans already have a number of restrictions on free speech, especially concerning Hitler. The best complaint I have heard about the cartoons is that a country that makes it illegal to question the Holocaust should also make it illegal to insult the prophet. The answer to this should be to make all speech free instead of making more topics forbidden.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Even More on the Cartoons

The backstory of the cartoons has not been part of the story. Usually the coverage simply says that they exist.

It started when a newspaper editor Flemming Rose heard about a writer who tried to find an illustrator for a children's book on Mohammed. Everyone he asked to do it either refused or asked to be anonymous. The writer felt that this was censorship and asked 25 editorial cartoonists to do a depiction of Mohammed. Twelve responded although only eleven actually showed the prophet. One showed a modern teenager named "Mohammed".

These cartoons were run as a statement for free speech. In September. They made the news when other newspapers started re-printing them.

Yesterday I wrote about the incompatible world views held by the west and the Moslem world. The problem is what to do about it?

Responses have been mixed. So far, no American newspapers or broadcast media have reprinted the cartoons. The Colbert Report got it right when Colbert said, "We aren't going to run them because we are afraid."

One thing that is developing is a double standard. Brits have complained that protesters are allowed to say anything including calls for death for the cartoonists but regular citizens would be arrested for such behavior. The US response is rather weak. France (!!!) and Germany stand with Denmark in supporting free speech.

The self-loathing in the west that I wrote about yesterday is partly at work here. We feel that any time people get so worked up, they must have a valid point.

While many western governments are trying to defuse a bad situation, they may not be making things any better. By apologizing fro free speech, they are giving in to people who have no such compunctions. This may ease the current crisis but it weakens the west.

The Moslems have something called Dhimmitude which holds that other religions can co-exist with Islam as long as they have lesser status. After the Danish government's "appology", Dhimmi Watch says "We're all dhimmis now."

This is rather important. Why should people in Nigeria be protesting what a Danish newspaper printed?

One important but overlooked issue is the Moslems' misconception about who actually controls the press. I mentioned this yesterday but today's news points this out.

A small Arab movement active in Belgium, the Netherlands and Denmark responded with a drawing on its Web site of Hitler in bed with Anne Frank. "Write this one in your diary, Anne," Hitler was shown as saying.

And in Iran:
A prominent Iranian newspaper said it would hold a competition for cartoons on the Holocaust to test whether the West extends the principle of freedom of expression to the Nazi genocide as it did to the caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.
As far as I know, the Danes who started the whole thing are not Jewish. Why concentrate on images offensive to Jews? Obviously the Moslems are being told that the Jews control the Western press and no one s bothering to address this.

I'm afraid that the "clash of civilizations" has moved into a new phase. The first phase was marked by terrorist acts by extremist groups. The new phase involves wide-scale riots by normal Moslems. Consider this a continuation of the French riots last year.

Who knows how long this phase will last or what the next phase will be? Apologizing for the western tradition of free speech will not help. When the actions of an obscure editor in Denmark can cause world-wide protests and rioting then more is going on then just some cartoons.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

More on the Cartoons

Let's face it - it sucks to be a Moslem in the early 21st century. Chances are pretty good that you either live in a 3rd world dictatorship or as a second-class citizen in a western nation. Your religion tells you that you are part of the only true faith but it seems like Christians and Jews hold all the power.

Your world-view would have been comfortable to the Pilgrims. Like them, you see the world in terms of who believes in your god and who believes in him in the proper way. You see no conflict between the state and religion. In fact, you probably want to live under strict Islamic law.

Things suck even worse if you are a woman. You are expected to cover your head, possibly your entire body. Depending on where you live, failure to do so can carry serious repercussions. In Iran you can be whipped for showing your hair. Other countries believe in raping you for immodesty after which time you are expected to commit suicide.

If you are a Muslim born in north Africa you have probably had genital mutilation.

Anyway, life sucks for you and it seems pretty good for everyone else.

So it makes you touchy. America is so powerful that you cheer any time it is humiliated. The Jews established an outpost in Arabia and you want it gone and the Jews with it.

And you want the rest of the world to respect your god. This should go without saying since he is obviously the one true god.

You feel powerless and you heard that they Danish made fun of your god. You don't know exactly what they did since it would be blasphemy to reprint the offending cartoons but just making a cartoon and calling it God is a serious offence. So you riot and boycott an entire country.

That's what's going on. An artist displays a crucifix in his own urine and the west doesn't care but that's because we feel strong. We are not threatened.

There is another difference. We are divided on how we feel about ourselves. The west has a great deal of self-loathing. The surest way to get acclaim is to deride your culture. Just look at this year's Oscars. Five message movies. Once it gets out that a professor is anti-American he can command huge speaking fees.

It seems like there has to be a balance in there somewhere.

Monday, February 06, 2006

The Mohammed Cartoons

You must have heard by now about the Danish cartoons featuring Mohammed and the resulting protests. Embassies have been burned. Products boycotted. Death threats issued.

There are all sorts of issues here.

First, there is the free speech issue.
"I've been getting a lot of e-mails about it, and I'm distributing them all," said Omary, a Damascus native who sells real estate in Northern Virginia. "There is a limit to freedom. There are 1.2 billion Muslims in the world. Let's have some respect."
Is this true? We accept some limits on free speech but they mainly have to do with speech that creates danger (calling "fire" in a crowd when there is none), and slander. The list has gotten longer, though. Hate speech has been one of those limits for the last fifteen years or more. Universities have strong limits on hate speech but general limitations have not been imposed nor are they likely to be constitutional in the US.

The closest parallel in the US is flag-burning. It is considered protected speech (as long as you burn your own flag in a safe manner) but there has been a movement to pass a constitutional amendment banning it. Similarly, Moslems are putting together a petition to the UN to prohibit representations of Mohammed.

I am against both of these. Freedom of speech is an all or nothing proposition. It only counts if it includes speech that makes people uncomfortable.

Another issue is how far a country needs to go to keep its citizens from offending anyone else. The entire country of Denmark is being held responsible for the actions of one of its newspapers. Further, the main offense is not the contents of the cartoons, it is the cartoons themselves. Moslem law forbids representations of the profit. Can a religion demand that a secular nation follow this rule?

That brings us to the issue of how Muslims regard the rest of the world. Muslims have a long history of tolerating other religions but only in a subservient relationship. This has caused small-scale issues for years, especially concerning how women dress and act in public.

One frequently cited point is that Moslems would never show such disrespect to Jesus of Moses. This is a bit of trickery. The same laws that forbid representations of Mohammed also apply to Jesus and Moses. They do not character these religions because they recognize Moses and Jesus as part of their religion, not because they respect other people's religions.

Do Muslims say or do things that are offensive to the West? Americans who remember images of Moslems dancing for joy at the fall of the World Trade Center certainly think so. Then there is the Iranian museum housed in the former US embassy. In order to enter it you have to tread on a US flag.

How about this? A bit over a year ago Iran produced a TV series entitled Zahra's Blue Eyes. It showed Palestinian children being kidnapped and harvested for body parts for Israelis.

finally, I keep seeing about how insular the Americans are, how we don't understand world politics, especially in the middle east. The protests show that Arabs are less informed about the West than we are about them. There is a hidden assumption in all of the protests that newspapers in Denmark are controlled by the government. They is why protests include all things Danish. The protesters have no idea at all what freedom of the press really means.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

State of the Union and 2008

During the 2006 State of the Union speech, the line that got the biggest cheer from the Democrats was that Congress had not acted on Bush's proposed Social Security reform. Not only did the democrats jump to their feet and applaud, several including Hillary cheered.

Of course, Social Security is still unfunded. The day that it starts subtracting from the general fund is a year closer. Democrats tend to deny that there is a problem, insisting that a stack of IOUs is as good as cash. A few hold their hands over their ears and go "La, la, la."

Seeing that, I reluctantly became convinced that the best thing that could happen to the country, and the worst thing that could happen to the Democrats is for them to win the White House in 2008 but for Republicans to keep control of Congress.

It would have to be a Democrat who is strong on defense. Someone from the Murtha/Conyers wing would be a disaster for the world. Given that, our new president would have to work with the Republicans, at least a few, in order to get anything accomplished.

The reason that I think a Democrat would be better is that the Democrats as a whole have gone bonkers. They oppose everything that Bush proposes because he proposes it. They have closed ranks.

With a Democrat in the White House, they would have to open up again, but with Republicans still in the majority, they could not push a liberal agenda.

Now - part of the reason I would like this is because of what it does to the Democrats. The realists and the idealists tear each other apart. It happened with Clinton. He "triangulated" meaning that he found enough common ground with the Republicans to get things done. That meant that he abandoned all pretense of a liberal agenda. The far left still hates him for it. They still hate Hillary for it.

Can a moderate Democrat win? It depends.

In 2000 Democrats swallowed their pride and nominated Clinton's Vice-President. A lot of them worried that Gore would continue to triangulate. That's why Nader ran and why so many people voted for him.

In 2004 they wanted to beat Bush more than anything else so they ran a candidate they thought that regular people would vote for. When Kerry lost, many Democrats had buyer's remorse. They had bent their principles in order to win and they still lost.

They really want to win in 2008 but many Democrats want to win with a liberal/progressive candidate. These are the people who vote in the primaries and, more importantly, the caucuses. It is very possible that the Democrats will not nominate a candidate who can will.

In the meantime, Republicans finally got what they wanted - a conservative majority on the Supreme Court. Republicans' secondary goals are should play well with the mainstream. These include strong defense, fiscal restraint, Social security reform and school choice.

Gay issues also play a factor and that deserves a column of its own.

So, it is very possible that we will end up with the same situation that we have now - a Republican president and congress with Democrats cheering obstructionism.