Political gridlock hurts America

  • Article by: Norman J. Ornstein, Thomas E. Mann 
  • Updated: April 22, 2013 - 9:44 AM

Yes, there are signs of progress in our political system, but the broader pathologies in our politics remain.

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cstoney48Apr. 21, 13 6:15 PM

It is 1824 all over again--with no end in sight.

pumiceApr. 21, 13 6:21 PM

To Norman J. Ornstein and Thomas E. Mann: As an ordinary citizen, I applaud your advice to Larry Summers--he should, indeed, stick to economics. Unwillingness to compromise is antithetical to democracy. Gridlock is not good. Summers may be a brilliant, award-winning economist, but his refusal to listen to other brilliant people and his hubris did not serve our nation well during his stint directing the White House United States National Economic Council.

middleman711Apr. 21, 13 6:38 PM

Obamacare and Dodd-Frank constitute enough bad legislation to last us for another 20-30 years. Unless Congress intends to undo the damage (i.e. repeal the persistently unpopular legislation that even its supporters call "a train wreck"), we should welcome, support, and even celebrate the prospect gridlock.

jd55604Apr. 21, 13 7:05 PM

Our own government has so many federal laws that it doesn't even know exactly how many we have on the books yet we seem to have these people out there who clamber for more non-partisan cooperation between politicians so they can pass more laws. When politicians work together your freedoms decrease and your taxes increase. More gridlock please.

gutshotApr. 21, 13 7:07 PM


bgronniApr. 21, 13 8:29 PM

Gridlock is good when one party decides it can rule over half the country without their consent. When bi-partisan bills are passed, it is usually something that is agreed upon by everyone. Take Obamacare. the majority of people hate it but just so happened that the dems had just enough votes to ram it through. now we are finding out that insurance costs will increase (80%), there is a medical devise tax (that will cost thousands of jobs) and too many other costs to mention. This was a prime example of one party rule and no debate. We don't need a Congress to make more laws, they need to eliminate them.

Don9539Apr. 21, 13 9:55 PM

If we enact everything the Democrats want things will be much better. That's what I get out of this piece.

shushyn78Apr. 21, 1310:07 PM

So half the country is just supposed to roll over and let the other half dominate because think tank elites have the right prescription for Shangri-la? Hubris indeed.

owatonnabillApr. 22, 13 5:40 AM

Owatonnabill does not necessarily agree that gridlock is grim. Government SHOULD move slowly for many reasons: not the least being that moving slowly forestalls most attempts at legislation based on emotion. Owatonnabill would go as far as to say that ANY legislation, at the State AND the Federal level, should require at least a 60% majority for passage, and in cases of tax bills, a 2/3 majority. A slow, deliberate government is a reasonable government.

ivehaditApr. 22, 13 7:13 AM

A slow, deliberate government is fine, so long as things get accomplished. Unfortunately, the obstruction by the minority means that essential functions (ie, directors of agencies and federal judges) are not being filled and important laws languish without votes or even debate. Just to be able to blame the Administration for shortcomings created by the obstructionists. That is not reasonable government, that is ineffective government. Imagine if we required 60% to elect our President and representatives. We would have no government at all. Rule by the majority has worked for centuries. Decisions by a 60% majority will never work.


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