Sunday, March 6, 2016

Gridlock with a capital "G"

It’s hard to believe that every U.S. Representative & Senator doesn’t know the reason that there is gridlock in Washington, DC. They also know how to fix it. They caused it with silly rules and procedures that don’t make sense and undermine the basic tenets of democracy and the constitution.

The filibuster rules in the Senate and the “Hastert rule” in the House are the principal reasons that very little gets done in the nation’s capitol. Now add gerrymandering; out of control campaign financing (i.e. Citizens United); unrelated "riders" and you have the complete recipe for Gridlock with a capital “G”.

And it’s sad to know that it could all be fixed in a New York minute. All it takes is political will. But notice I haven’t said the key words yet — Democrats, Republicans or the President — they’re all responsible to some degree. It just depends on whose in power at the time.

They all talk about the gridlock in Washington and need to compromise and bipartisanship; but, they know they have purposefully inserted the mechanisms in the system that are designed to frustrate compromise and gum up the political process envisioned by the Founders.

So as the electorate and general public grows more and more weary of the D.C. shenanigans is it any wonder they are gravitating toward the likes of some of the outlandish options available in the current crop of 2016 Presidential candidates.

We’ll get into all the gory details; but this is the opening salvo.

·        General Public: The general public needs to become more educated about these arcane practices and how they totally undercut their choices at the ballot box to the point of making them nearly useless.
·        Interest Groups: Responsible public interest groups need to assist in informing their members and designing campaigns to overturn these irresponsible, perverted means to undermine democracy.
·        News Media: The media and pundits need to help in this educational process by emphasizing at every occasion the connections to these obstructionist tools.
·        Elected Statesmen: The few responsible, statesman-like elected officials need to work tirelessly to expose and tear down these barriers to effective government.
·        POTUS: And, finally, the President must use the bully pulpit to speak out against these contrived obstacles and let the public know how their will is being shutdown.

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