Sunday, October 2, 2011

Congressional Deadlock? Not So Much

"Congress gridlock — why?
Dysfunction was long in the making"

This is a headline from an article in today's [10/02] Telegram and Gazette from the Associated Press. The article asks why Congress is in gridlock today and, as is evident from the above, answers that there are numerous causes, apparently beyond Congress' control, that account for this state of affairs. Most important is the alleged polarization of Congress and of our politics in general, with Republican and Democratic "extremists" controlling each party and making agreement impossible. A former member of Congress, Mickey Edwards, endorses this view, so it must be correct.

Let me posit that the answer about "gridlock" is much simpler than Edwards and others would like to think and have us think. Whatever "gridlock" exists, exists because Congress wants it to exist. Hence, when Congress and congressmen don't want it to exist, it disappears. For example, it disappeared recently when Congress overwhelmingly approved a revision in patent law, a revision that would help large, humongous corporations control patents while smaller businesses would go wanting. When it comes to items like the Patriot Act or the war in Afghanistan or even in Iraq, the Congress has little trouble acting. What kind of "gridlock" is it if those who are, allegedly, in that "gridlock" can get out of it whenever they want to? It is not "gridlock" at all but merely play acting at it because it serves some political purpose. 

What political purpose(s) are being served here? At least two that I can think of: (1) This alleged "gridlock" attributable to "two" parties of "extremists" is a wonderful cover for what is a political system controlled by those who should be called "oligarchs," that is, those who govern to favor the wealthy at the expense of the rest of us. (2) This alleged "gridlock" conveys the impression that our politicians are, essentially, powerless, that forces are operating that are beyond their control and that therefore their hands are tied when it comes to helping the middle and lower classes. The operative phrases are "We have to make hard choices and the results will be painful." Ah yes, but notice where the pain is greatest as the middle class shrinks and these politicians set their sights on programs like Social Security - which is now called an "entitlement" - which are crucial to the well being of the middle and lower classes. 

SMOKE AND MIRRORS! Our politics has become a magic show, all smoke and mirrors and no substance.

Here is the link to the article:

No comments:

Post a Comment