Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A New Form of Government Seems Our Only Recourse

I made the suggestion yesterday that, in light of  the new absurdities from the Supreme Court, a seven percent approval rating of Congress and a 30 percent approval of the president, that perhaps we need to strongly consider a new government.

A friend said he thought maybe "new leaders" would be more appropriate. No, said I, new leaders with the old system would simply lead to the same problems we are having with the oligarcy to which we have evolved. Government by and for the rich is the United States, 2014.

The John Roberts/Republican Supreme Court is only symptomatic of deep, deep problems within our system, which has been so Jerry-rigged and Rube Goldburged that little makes sense. Congress is simply unworkable because arcane, often absurd rules and its growing list of extremists make it so. The president has had little power to affect change.

By modern standards Bill Clinton, who accomplished little in the way of legislation, was a good president because he stopped the Republican extremists for eight years. That's not much to tell your grandchildren, but it's about the limit of presidential power these days.

Our government at the moment is strongly representative of a small minority of the Republican Party which does not want government. The problem with our evolution (devolution?) is that the "no" vote is much easier to accomplish than the "yes." In the Senate, for example, one senator of 100 can stop a presidential appointment.

In the House, no bill can advance without having a majority of the majority on its side. That obviates any compromise and two-party deal-making. It means, at its base, that Republicans run the show and Democrats--despite the fact that the Dems regularly get more House votes in elections than the GOP nationally--have no say.

Gerrymandering is an obscure term that American voters have come to understand because it affects them directly by making their votes count for little. That's where our government is right now. We don't count. The Koch brothers do. That must stop. A new form of government could do that.

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