Sunday, June 17, 2012

Congress doesn't matter--according to the GOP

Everything the GOP leadership and its followers are saying about the past four years assigns 100% of the responsibility for everything bad that's happened--to the President. I just heard Tim Pawlenty say so this morning. He's Mitt Romney's campaign chief.

In countries with parliamentary government this would be true. Such countries are run by the Prime Minister, chosen by the party that won the last election. These are true majoritarian governments; there, the legislative minority is powerless.

That's not remotely the case in our country. We have our Constitution, which is designed from the ground up to make government inefficient, and the Senate's rules make it even more inefficient. In our country even a president with a majority in both houses of Congress still can't get his way if the minority party declares total war on the majority--filibustering nearly every law and nominee (even for nonpartisan positions), tying government in knots. Plus many Democrats in swing districts have been intimidated by the ability of the Republicans to buy every minute of ad space and time in his congressional district for a month prior to the next election, devoting it to lying attack ads.

So in our country today, where politics is dominated by raw money and the presidency is closer to being the top administrative job in the country rather than providing the ruler of a nation that the GOP likes to present our presidency is.

Bush II was able to accomplish his agenda because he was working in concert with a compliant Congress for six years. However, the Democrats hadn't declared total war on him, in part because he lied us into a war and in a war you can always call the minority traitors if they don't cave.

So by assigning total responsibility for America's state of affairs to President Obama, the GOP is not only saying Congress is irrelevant, it's also saying that the American President is in control of the rest of the world as well. As if we can change what's happening in Greece, in Spain, in Italy, in China (where growth has slowed), etc. They make Obama a kind of demigod--just a bad, bad demigod.

And half the nation buys this malarkey.

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