Taking back the House

Kos started an interesting discussion earlier today asking for reasons why it's important for the Democratic party to retake the Congress in general, the House in particular.

I've wondered recently--if I knew I could be guaranteed one but only one specific outcome in November, the Democrats would win back the House, the Senate, or the Presidency, (might take back more than one, but guaranteed this one), which one would I choose?

Each have their positives. The President sets the overall tone, has the power to appoint judges, has the bully pulpit and is the Commander in Chief. The House controls the budget process. The Senate confirms judges and has the awesome power of the filibuster. Taken on their own, the House seems to be the section that can at least be worked around, finessed perhaps--after all, they have to agree with the Senate when it comes to legislation.

But this House has Tom DeLay, and I've got to admit that if I were guaranteed that one election would toss him out of the Majority Leader slot and perhaps out of the leadership of his party, I would be tempted to take it, all other things being equal.

Of course, they aren't equal, and the ability to confirm judges and/or nominate them is one of many ways in which I think either the Senate or the Presidency is more powerful than the House, so my dreams of ousting the exterminator from Sugarland would have to be deferred (perhaps--remember, there's nothing in my scenario that says that the Democratic party can't hit the trifecta this November) in favor of one of the other two.

It's early yet, but I like our chances at getting two of the three. Then the question will be--can we use the power to make some substantive change in the way this country treats its own citizens and those we share the planet with?

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