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How Congress Stopped Working

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posted on Nov, 6 2018 @ 08:51 AM

For more than 200 years, Congress operated largely as the country’s founders envisioned — forging compromises on the biggest issues of the day while asserting its authority to declare war, spend taxpayer money and keep the presidency in check.

Today, on the eve of a closely fought election that will determine who runs Capitol Hill, that model is effectively dead.

It has been replaced by a weakened legislative branch in which debate is strictly curtailed, party leaders dictate the agenda, most elected representatives rarely get a say and government shutdowns are a regular threat due to chronic failures to agree on budgets, according to a new analysis of congressional data and documents by The Washington Post and ProPublica.

The study found that the transformation has occurred relatively fast — sparked by the hyperpolarized climate that has enveloped politics since the 2008 election of President Barack Obama and the subsequent dawn of the tea party movement on the right. During that time, as the political center has largely evaporated, party leaders have adhered to the demands of their bases, while rules and traditions that long encouraged deliberative dealmaking have given way to partisan gridlock, the analysis found.


There's not really much that I can say about this study that was released yesterday and I can't really disagree with any of the points it makes. Congress has moved away from its original intent and has now become nothing more than a "junior partner to the Executive Branch." Constituents no longer really matter. Instead the only thing that counts for anything is the agenda of party leadership.

The hyperpartisanship that has been building on both sides for the past decade is slowly, but radically, transforming the entire structure of this country. Congress is just one of the earliest and most obvious casualties. Hopefully it's not to late to course correct. If we continue down this current path there is no doubt in my mind that some of this country's most revered and fundamental institutions will be all but nonexistent in the next decade or so.
edit on 11/6/2018 by Xcalibur254 because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 6 2018 @ 09:14 AM
a reply to: Xcalibur254

Our founding fathers are rolling in their graves. Not only because of the broken legislative system, but because of the trillions of dollars of debt we have that will never be repaid, because of the justifications that have been made to strip away rights of the citizens, and because of the American Imperialism and destruction/political finagling in foreign countries.

Thank you for sharing this Xcalibur, important subject that we should all be concerned about

posted on Nov, 6 2018 @ 09:16 AM
a reply to: Xcalibur254

Of course, the Washington post blames the tea party for making congress useless somehow when Obama and the leftists had complete control of the Govt.


posted on Nov, 6 2018 @ 09:19 AM
a reply to: Xcalibur254

I feel this really started with the neocons during the Clinton presidency. Then after 9/11 the Bush presidency went all out. Polarization was a runaway train at that point. Obama promised hope and change, only to double down over the next 8 years. The Trump presidency is largely a reaction to that.

If I'm being completely honest, I don't think any of this lands well in the future.

posted on Nov, 6 2018 @ 09:21 AM
a reply to: watchitburn

From what I saw they blamed both sides. Pelosi and Reid were called out for how their actions pretty much led to Ryan and McConnell employing similar tactics.

posted on Nov, 6 2018 @ 09:22 AM
a reply to: loam

While some of it started in the 90s you really don't see a major change in the numbers until after 2008.

posted on Nov, 6 2018 @ 09:29 AM
Yep, we're laying the groundwork for something evil this way comes. I imagine that the United States will have its first truly despotic ruler by the 2030s.

And for what? Because of the demagoguery of the elite in government, media and academia which deludes us into believing that we can't come to an understanding and compromise on issues like healthcare and immigration? And that we for some reason have to go to the extreme and hand over more power to these very same elite demagogues for the slim hope of solving these issues? More agreement among us means less power and control for them. There is a reason that the very first thing every aspiring totalitarian regime in the history of the world does is fracture the citizenry and turn them on one another.

Most moderate right-wingers I know are in favor of medicare-for-all and most moderate left-wingers I know understand the value and importance of a strong border and sovereign state. And that it is because of that strength in sovereignty that you can actually protect immigrants that migrate to that county legally through law and order like birthright citizenship. If you don't have a sovereign-state ensuring those rights then what is protecting you from the orange menace that wants to run you out of their territory? I mean, this concept is quite literally why we currently live in the United States of America instead among scattered, disassociated tribes. Of course, they are working feverishly to regress our nation back to that state, aren't they?

As I pointed out in another thread, the tools for totalitarianism and tyranny have never been more powerful nor more ubiquitous than they are right now. Now add in the severe political polarization that abounds. Where do you think this is headed? It ain't gonna be moderation, gumdrops and rainbows, folks.
edit on 6-11-2018 by sooth because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 6 2018 @ 09:44 AM
a reply to: Xcalibur254

No doubt it takes two to tango, but the tea party lasted all of about 2 years, at most.

It was a short blip of support for Ron Paul and constitutionalists. And it was more Libertarian than Republican.

But it fails to realize that the point of all our checks and balances are to ensure that the politicians can't change the laws too much. They're not supposed to get anything done easily because they invariably screw it up.

You could say these huge swings between the left and right started under Bush, if not earlier, but the leftists perfected it during the Obama administration with the weaponization of the IRS, IC and the Justice Dept.

Trump is the direct result of the Tyranny that left was using to throttle our Govt. To death with. Instead of the planned gridlock we got Taxpayer subsidized "health care" that the Govt forced on everyone at gunpoint.

We're all better off when the Govt can't get anything done. Because it's less they can F up.

But now we're stuck because of what Obama did.

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