Kate Riley To lodge all power in one party and keep it there is to insure bad government and the sure and gradual deterioration of the public morals. Mark Twain Its great I love a divided government. Mind you, not divided in the old-fashioned purpose of running government for the benefit of citizens (rather than the special interests), or keeping the streets safe or protecting the vulnerable. Rather I like a government divided in partisan ideology. That has happened in Congress with the Republicans taking charge of the House of Representatives and with a much tighter Senate margin. Not quite in Washington States Legislature - though the Senate looked briefly like it might swing to the Republicans. Regardless, the obscenely luxurious majorities enjoyed by state Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown and Speaker of the House Frank Chopp are much diminished. Now state Democratic leaders are going to have to enlist the aid of Republicans to balance the next budget projected already to be more than $4 billion in deficit. No more of Senator Browns scrutiny-thwarting stunts of not releasing any details of voluminous policy bills until the hearing and calling a vote within hours. No more disenfranchising duly elected Republican lawmakers by excluding them from negotiations - and by extension their constituents across huge swaths of rural Washington. This leavening will only serve all of Washington better. The hubris of a one-party-controlled Legislature unchecked by a Governor of the same party is what drove the budget to unsustainable levels. Democrats kept betting on the come, assuming state revenues would continue to increase and cover their excess. That worked until it didnt. Plain old hubris led Democrats to suspend voter-approved Initiative 960, in which voters directed lawmakers to get a supermajority to raise taxes. It has been a disaster with no checks, no balances and no accountability until now. Much has been made of the fickleness of the electorate this year - suggestions that citizens voted for the party rather than the person. That voters struggling in this dire economy are voting against the incumbent party in knee-jerk fashion. Thats part of it, but certainly not all of it. Voters deserve more credit than that. Most voters are sick and tired of scorched-earth politics and having to vote for the lesser of evils - ideological-opposed candidates too often propped up by teams of moneyed hallelujah choruses on the right or left. So voters use the only tool they have to voice their sentiments - however, imprecisely. Less than a week before Tuesdays election, a national Rasmussen Reports telephone poll found that 65 percent of likely US voters said that, if they had the option, they would vote to get rid of the entire Congress and start all over again. Only 20 percent would opt to keep the status quo; the rest werent sure. I cant help, but think theres a method to our collective madness. Think about it. For 40 years, the Democrats controlled Congress. In 1994 - slap right - voters gave control to Republicans who, with a Republican President from 2001, overreached. In 2006 - slap left - the Democrats decisively regained control of Congress. And now - slap halfway right - voters have given the House Republicans the largest majority theyve had in decades and tightened the Senate margin. Indulge one more Rasmussen poll released the day after Election Day: About 59 percent of likely US voters think it is at least somewhat likely that most voters will be disappointed with the Republicans in Congress before the next national elections. Were not a blue America, a red America or even purple. We are an angst-ridden, cynical America holding out hope that eventually we will have leaders, who really serve their constituents rather than their ideological teams. Seattle Times