All about ideas…

Of course, nothing gets done….

with 2 comments

So, do you ever wonder why DC doesn’t seem to get anything done? As Newsweek writes:

Such is the lament of the party out of power in Washington. Republicans on Capitol Hill say they have many good ideas and want to join with President Obama and the Democrats to alleviate the country’s problems. They want to collaborate on a health-care bill, a jobs bill, a clean-energy bill. But they can’t, because the Democrats—intent on pushing through a radical agenda that is out of touch with real Americans—won’t listen to them. Republicans want to help the president succeed, but he won’t let them.

This isn’t true, of course—any more than it was true when the Democrats said the same thing as they dedicated themselves to thwarting George W. Bush. In zero-sum Washington, members of the opposition party have little incentive to help the president, especially if it means the credit for their actions could accrue to him and not them. If politics is the art of compromise, then politics as practiced in the capital is the art of preventing compromise at all costs. This is why, infuriatingly, our elected officials spend so much time plotting ways to stick it to the other side with “filibuster-proof super-majorities” and “nuclear options,” while the unemployment rate hovers in the double digits and 46 million Americans go without health insurance. It is why not a single GOP senator voted for the health-care bill now stalled in Congress, and why Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell turned against a GOP-inspired plan for a deficit commission once Obama endorsed the idea.

A handful of Republicans—Sen. Olympia Snowe on health care, Sen. Bob Corker on financial reform—have tried on their own to break from this tit-for-tat and deal with Democrats. They see what most politicians know but don’t talk about: that on many issues, the differences between the two sides are not nearly so great as the party bosses would have us believe. Too often it is politics, not policy, that stymies progress.

So, what I want to know is when will this country decide to break the hold on our republic by the Old South which currently dominates

Old South Reb yelling

Old South Reb yelling against North

Republican the leadership in Congress? This is the same Old South that held the original Articles of Confederation and the Constitution hostage until they won the right to retain not only slaves but the right to vote every slave as a 3/5 person for which they cast the ballot as landholders. Remember, non-landholders originally were denied the vote.

Pre-Civil War Southern States fight against Northern States

Pre-Civil War, Southern States fighting against Northern States

As a result of these maneuvers early in our constitutional statehood, the South enjoyed a great deal of primacy and electoral power. Alexander Hamilton, the father of our federalist economic system and closest adviser to Geo. Washington, often railed against the Southern block as did many other of our founding fathers, including Ben Franklin, from the Federalist north.

It seems to me, now that we have a Black President, that we’re once again locked in a battle between the North and South.


Written by Valerie Curl

February 23, 2010 at 7:19 AM

2 Responses

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  1. Gotta ask — why do you persist in the myth that “nothing gets done?” $3 trillion for the “war on terror/the rest of the world,” a trillion point 3 for war materiel, re-enactment of all kinds of subsidies and tax expenditures, further encroachments into what’s left of civil liberties, unfair and unwarranted prosecutions and failures to prosecute clearly criminal acts, ethical lapses and fraud and theft and bullying on a grandiose scale, lobbyists getting rich getting special prime-meat slices off the fading body politic, and a whole bunch of other busy-work BS that keeps the crushing government wheels in motion are not, IMVHO, “getting nothing done.”

    I guess if you mean stuff that works for the General Welfare…


    February 23, 2010 at 10:04 AM

    • Awe, you caught me.

      Seriously, though, no one in DC wants to be characterized as unpatriotic, soft on terror, not supporting the troops, anti-American so all defense spending rarely get more than a cursory discussion before being approved unilaterally. This is just another outcome of the hyper-partisanship that infects DC. Now, almost no one dares openly discuss controlling defense spending even on projects that the military has said they don’t need.

      And yes, the legislation that actually promotes the general welfare of the people remains stymied for all the reasons stated.

      Valerie Curl

      February 24, 2010 at 1:43 PM

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