Friday, August 31, 2018

On "Obstructionism"

     People -- in the media and everyday types online -- decry "obstructionism" in politics, as though a failure to march shoulder-to-shoulder was some kind of failing in Federal, State or local government.

     It's not.  It's baked right in to the way our system of government is set up, and not by accident.  This country was created by and for a large group of people with disparate -- indeed, divergent -- ideas.  It's why the Bill of Rights lists things the government is supposed to keep its hands off -- including some vague, sweeping language about how if it's not mentioned, Uncle Sam can't fiddle with it.  The three branches of the Federal government are each set up to thwart, stymie, slow and trip up one another.  None of this is an accident or an oversight; it's done to keep us from riding roughshod over one another.

     It's not perfect.  It's not even all that successful at limiting government, though it does a better job of that than any other approach.  It's definitely not efficient.  It wasn't meant to be.  The is not stamping out blivets or growing cotton; our elected and appointed pols aren't foremen (forepeople?) or overseers, and thank whatever big thanking-thing you like for that!  --And thank the clever, flawed men who drew up the Constitution and the men and women who amended it.

     Yeah, you didn't get everything you hoped from the Feds, and you got lots of stuff you didn't want.  So does everyone else.  The problem isn't that it's not efficient or united enough -- the problem is they didn't spend enough time and effort fighting one another and whittling their work down to the least-invasive and most widely-supportable version.  "Obstructive?"  They're not nearly obstructionist enough!


Jess said...

It's a fantastic form of government; and it works real well, when those elected remember they're not elected to office to see how much money they can spend, or how many laws they can make.

Joseph said...

We need BuSab.

Mike V said...

Great Post! Preach it!!! as they say in country churches.

Jerry said...


Ed said...

“Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.…” – Winston Churchill, House of Commons, 11 November 1947

Of course, ours is by design worse because of out experience with the British model.