It's deja vu, all over again. Liberals are running around complaining that America is ungovernable. Again.
You young-uns may not remember the last time that happened. So I will help you out. It was in the latter stages of the Carter administration, when the hostages were in Iran, when inflation was 10 percent, people had to line up to get gasoline, and President Carter made his "malaise" speech,
Well, you can understand why liberals felt that way. They were the best and the brightest; they believed in rational government. So how come things were going so badly wrong? It couldn't be them and their stupid ideas. Oh no. Liberals couldn't be to blame. It must the the American people. They were ungovernable.
So now, after the "year the locusts ate," with President Obama having failed to pass his signature reforms to heal the sick and stop the oceans rising, liberals are blaming the system, the politicians, the public. Anyone but themselves. Jay Cost has the goods.
Ezra Klein argued that it was time to reform the filibuster because the government cannot function with it intact anymore. Tom Friedman suggested that America's "political instability" was making people abroad nervous. And Michael Cohen of Newsweek blamed "obstructionist Republicans," "spineless Democrats," and an "incoherent public" for the problem.
Nonsense, says Jay Cost. The problem is that the "President has simply not been up to the job." He has governed too far to the left, encouraging the left-wing House to produce bills too far to the left to get through the Senate and the result is that he hasn't been able to get enough support to push his program through.
That's not a bug, it's a feature. The founding fathers meant to set things up that way. They created three branches of government to police each other. They created a bi-cameral legislature that balanced popular representation with regional representation. They created a Bill of Rights to limit government power.
The end result was a government that is powerful, but not infinitely so. Additionally, it is schizophrenic. It can do great things when it is of a single mind - but quite often it is not of one mind. So, to govern, our leaders need to build a broad consensus. When there is no such consensus, the most likely outcome is that the government will do nothing.
So be quiet, liberals. The system is functioning exactly as designed. And if you don't figure that out real quick your chaps are going to be tossed out of Congress in November in an election that will make 1994 look like a Sunday school outing.
The last time that liberals declared the United States "ungovernable" the voters elected Ronald Reagan in two landslide elections. And, if you remember, during the Reagan Era nobody complained about the American people being "ungovernable."