HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » Good Reads (Forum) » EJ Dionne: It's our syste...
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 06:27 AM

EJ Dionne: It's our system on the cliff

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/ej-dionne-jr-its-our-political-system-on-the-cliff/2012/12/23/969e65ea-4baf-11e2-b709-667035ff9029_story.html

The United States faces a crisis in our political system because the Republican Party, particularly in the House of Representatives, is no longer a normal, governing party. . . . .
In a democratic system with separated powers, two houses of Congress, split between the parties, a normal party accepts that compromise is the only way to legislate. A normal party takes into account election results. A normal party recognizes when the other side has made real concessions. A normal party takes responsibility. By all of these measures, the Republican majority that Speaker John Boehner purports to lead is abnormal. That is the meaning of his catastrophic failure to gather the votes for his “Plan B” proposal on the “fiscal cliff.” Many of his most radical members believe they have a right to use any means at their disposal to impose their views on the country, even if they are only a minority in Congress.
. . .
In the longer run, the non-tea party wing of the GOP will have to decide whether it wants to be subject to the whims of colleagues to their right or look to the center for alliances with the Democrats. The choice is plain: We can spend two years doing absolutely nothing, or we can try to solve the country’s problems. This includes the problem of gun violence, and the question is whether the GOP will reject the tone-deaf extremism of NRA chief Wayne LaPierre’s bizarre response to the killings in Newtown, Conn.

Our political structure has been disfigured in another way: In November’s election, Democrats failed to win the House even though they received about a million more votes in House contests than the Republicans did. Republicans were protected by gerrymandered districts and by political geography: Democrats tend to win urban and certain suburban districts by overwhelming margins.
In Pennsylvania, to pick a stark case, Democrats edged out the Republicans in the popular vote for House races. But given how the districts were drawn, this resulted in the Republicans winning 13 seats to only five for the Democrats. Both parties gerrymander, of course, but Republicans had far more influence over the process this time because the 2010 election gave them dominance of so many legislatures. Thus did one election shape our politics for a decade, even though the country changed its mind one election later.. . .

12 replies, 2205 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 12 replies Author Time Post
Reply EJ Dionne: It's our system on the cliff (Original post)
MBS Dec 2012 OP
Bluenorthwest Dec 2012 #1
MBS Dec 2012 #2
John2 Dec 2012 #3
Dustlawyer Dec 2012 #9
sellitman Dec 2012 #4
greymattermom Dec 2012 #5
bucolic_frolic Dec 2012 #6
Demeter Dec 2012 #7
ReRe Dec 2012 #10
nineteen50 Dec 2012 #8
Uncle Joe Dec 2012 #11
Stuart G Dec 2012 #12

Response to MBS (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 07:24 AM

1. Ah, EJ, who actually still hangs on to the idea that some Republicans are not insane....

poor wee Dionne.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 07:44 AM

2. you're right: "sane Republican" is virtually an extinct species

Too bad. Because, even though I am a Democrat in every cell of my body, I do think that we need a two-party system to keep us on our toes. But we need an opposition party that actually supports the Constitution and democracy, and believes in maintaining a conversation between parties that's necessary to keep that constitution and democracy in working order; not one that makes a mockery of the Constitution and of democracy, and obstructs constructive action at every turn.

The current Republican party keeps reminding me of Germany in the 30's. OK, not a nice thought for Christmas, and I'm going to suppress that thought again, because it's Christmas; but I do think the current Republican party poses a real danger to our democracy.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to MBS (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 07:55 AM

3. When we talk

 

about Gerrymandering, we are actually saying Republicans rigged the system. I also found out this can be challenged by any voters. I don't know if anybody ever challenged these Districts in court?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to John2 (Reply #3)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 09:21 AM

9. I know it is probably an extreme example, but in Texas, they gerrymandered our Districts

in the middle of the decade so badly, and yet the state Supreme Court said the Districts were NOT gerrymandered. My town was a Democratic stronghold surrounded by Red. They split our town down the middle and watered down the Dems with a healthy dose of R's over 100 miles away. At one point the district was only 15 feet wide, and yet no gerrymandering! That knocked out Our Congressman, Nick Lampson. To his credit, he went to the District Tom Delay was having to give up and beat the split Republican challengers in a "safe" Republican district! There was some justice!

WE NEED COMPLETE CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM!!!!!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to MBS (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 08:20 AM

4. My 88 year old father in law voted Obama for the second time in a row.

He has been the most Conservative man I've ever met. He told me yesterday during a visit he hardly recognises his party.

Thats just amazing if you know him.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to MBS (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 08:38 AM

5. cities are changing

I'm wondering about the gerrymandering. Everywhere I go I'm seeing younger, educated folks moving into cities and poorer folks forced to older suburbs. These districts may not be as safe as once thought in a couple of years.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to MBS (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 08:39 AM

6. Let the Tea Party be the Tea Party

If history is any guide, they will obstruct with paranoid delusions
about the end of America and freedom and the economy and
stand firm on their interpretation of the 2nd Amendment

Meanwhile, back in reality, the economy is slowing recovering,
the Fed has made us awash in cash, people are spending the
the President has moved America in a positive direction

If the Tea Party Republicans manage to hijack their more moderate
brethren, then the entire Party will go over their own Cliff
like a bunch of lemmings.

Once the public sees what is happening, they will squeeze out a
few Tea Partyers in primaries, and by 2020 the redistricting will
edge toward the middle.

The Founding Fathers really did make a self-regulating political
mechanism that prevented radicals from seizing actual control
and gravitated toward the political middle. They feared "factions"
- the 18th century concept of parties, and institutionalized their
constraint.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to MBS (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 08:45 AM

7. When a System is Broken, It's Time to Build from New

and that means establishing the principles of the design.

After 200+ years, we need a new Constitution 2.0 which not only fixes the problems with the original, but brings this nation in line with its present realities and future dreams. Of the People, by the People, for the People. NOT Corporations, not the 1%.

There are a lot of things wrong with this country today, and perhaps the biggest thing wrong is that "It's perfectly legal!" when it shouldn't be, and couldn't be, if there were any justice and rule of law left.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Demeter (Reply #7)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 09:31 AM

10. Amen, Demeter!

Thank you. You nailed it. We do need a new US Constitution, 2.0.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to MBS (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 08:54 AM

8. The new American way

win by any means necessary.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to MBS (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 02:10 PM

11. Kicked and recommended.

Thanks for the thread, MBS.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to MBS (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 09:22 AM

12. k and r nt.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread