Is American democracy in trouble?

  • Article by: E.J. DIONNE JR. , Washington Post
  • Updated: May 20, 2013 - 1:38 PM

We know American politics are dysfunctional. But after a week of scandal obsession during which the nation's capital and the media virtually ignored the problems most voters care about -- jobs, incomes, growth, opportunity, education -- it's worth asking if there is something especially flawed about our democracy.

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gearrunrMay. 20, 13 1:59 PM

Wow. So let me get this straight: republicans are entirely to blame for all partisan problems (because they don't agree with democrats), and we should just make Obama King of America now because European studies have shown that people there don't think they can affect change?

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eibud22423May. 20, 13 2:42 PM

When you have elective representatives, bought and paid for,the word is OLIGARCHY.

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justanother1May. 20, 13 2:48 PM

Why are they showing a picture of a guy carrying a Vatican corporation flag?

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pumiceMay. 20, 13 3:12 PM

Re: "[W]e should just make Obama King of America..." Is it possible, gearrunr, that you've posted your 1:59 p.m. comment to the wrong article? This fits a lot better with Albert R. Hunt's commentary. The one where he urges Pres. Obama to accept the Attorney General's resignation and appoint a Republican to replace him. The one where he advises Pres. Obama not to appoint Susan Rice to the NSC as that would reignite the Benghazi firestorm. (Like, the firestorm has abated.) The one where he speculates that Congressional Republicans would accept Paul O'Neill as a Special Counsel on post-Citizens United attempts by the IRS to do twice the work with no increase in staff when Republicans have gone ballistic over the fact that Pres. Obama was not informed about findings in the Inspector General's report (which lambasted the IRS for developing “inappropriate criteria” and "ineffective management") before the report was released.

EJ Dionne, on the other hand, is operating from a different premise. EJ's premise is that income and wealth are being redistributed upward: "There has been a substantial transfer of wealth and income from labor -- which is how most people pay their way -- to capital." Which is pretty much the same as Warren Buffett's premise. Buffett, you may remember, said "There's a class war, and the rich are winning."

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taxoffspazMay. 20, 13 3:33 PM

The reason the US Government is not working anymore is that our elected representatives have been bought, sold and corrupted starting at the local level all the way though the Federal level.

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taxoffspazMay. 20, 13 3:37 PM

When the US House or US Senate takes a vote and passes a bill that clearly doen NOT help the majority of Americans you can bet that the votes were purchased by special interest lobbyists. The new immigration bill is a clear example with nothing for the American people but another $6Trillion in national debt and 33Million more foreign workers to continue the flooding of the US LAbor Market. Follow the money people...it's not coming to us!!!

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potter101May. 20, 13 3:48 PM

One of the major problems is you have a party that are capitalist before being Americans. That will be a quick route to the destruction of our republic. To much of the wealth of a wealthy nation is going into the hands of the very few. We have law and tax law to expedite this catastrophe.

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odinmanMay. 20, 13 3:49 PM

When half the masses vote for politicans who promise them more and more freebies paid for by taxing the other half...then yes, democracy is in serious trouble.

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potter101May. 20, 13 3:53 PM

We sit and watch a party trying to discredit the other party and its potential candidates. They have nothing to offer except this smoke screen. The population finds them wrapping themselves in the bible and the American flag less then what they expect from one of their two parties, Without that they offer nothing.

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gandalf48May. 20, 13 3:55 PM

EJ Dionne is a socialist, he'll even tell you that. If income redistribution is going to the rich, how is giving more of it to the government going to help that 28 year old out of work?

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