In recent years the US Federal government has pretty much ceased to legislate. It can no longer make decisions about budgets, taxes, judicial confirmations, drugs policy, gun control, immigration, or much of anything else.
A symbol of the paralysis can be found at the Republican National Committee web site this week. Three years ago the “ObamaCare” bill was passed. It’s complicated, but it is the law. Nevertheless, the Republicans have decided to block the law and have threatened to shut down the government unless funding for it is eliminated. At the RNC website just now I found this digital display:
COUNTDOWN TO OBAMACARE TRAIN WRECK
8 days, 7 hours, 50 minutes, 53 seconds
Welcome to the world’s greatest democracy.
Politicians have always had to balance rewards for getting things done against rewards for beating the other team. Somehow it would seem that in recent years, the incentives have moved out of balance. Republicans would rather have Obama fail (and the country with him) than have the country succeed (and Obama with it). The Democrats are not blameless either. How can we get the debate to focus on readjusting the nonlinear dynamical system of government to make it work again?
[22 September 2013]