Saturday, April 6, 2013

Great read - but we knew this already

Saw this in Salon;  it discusses and generally confirms what we observers wedded to reality already knew -- the Republican Party is messed up, and by being messed up, is messing up the rational governance of this fine country.

The Republican Party is broken 
(by Jonathan Bernstein)

"The key question, however, is the nature of the problem. [Rick] Hasen sees it, as many do, as a mismatch between partisan polarization on the one hand and the U.S. Madisonian system on the other."

The source of these deadlocks over budget reform is hardly a mystery: It is the mismatch between highly ideological political parties and our divided form of government, which makes passing legislation difficult even in the absence of partisan deadlock. The partisanship of our political branches and mismatch with our structure of government raise this fundamental question: Is the United States’ political system so broken that we should change the United States Constitution to adopt a parliamentary system, either a Westminster system as in the United Kingdom or a different form of parliamentary democracy? Such a move toward unified government would allow the Democratic or Republican parties to act in a unified way to pursue a rational plan on budget reform on other issues.

The Results:
  •     An aversion to normal bargaining and compromise
  •     An inability to banish fringe people and views from the mainstream of the party
  •     An almost comical lack of interest in substantive policy formation
  •     A willingness to ignore established norms and play “Constitutional hardball”
  •     A belief that when out of office, the best play is always all-out obstruction
As you can see, this doesn't allow for much actual work to improve the country and move it forward getting done. 

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