The Republican Party, which in 2006 was unceremoniously deprived of its last majority in the House of Representatives, is virtually certain to regain that advantage with next Tuesday’s mid-term election. The still-unanswered question is whether the GOP will use that majority to trim federal spending and cut federal power, or behave as it did when it enjoyed a majority during the first six years of President George W. Bush’s eight years in office, and dramatically increase both federal spending and power.
The answer may lie in the response Benjamin Franklin gave to a fellow Philadelphian citizen in 1787. The famous octogenarian was asked what form of governing structure the Constitutional Convention then meeting behind closed doors had decided upon – “a Republic or a Monarchy?”– Franklin famously replied, “A Republic, if you can keep it.”
Now, 223 years later, similar questions about the fundamental direction in which America is headed, are being asked; largely