Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Three Stooges of the Senate

If you want to understand why our political system is so completely impotent when it comes to solving the major problems of the day, I strongly recommend and article from last week’s New Yorker, "As the World Burns" by Ryan Lizza. It is a non-partisan, clinical, dissection of the inner workings of the Senate as it contemplated energy policy legislation this past year. It looks in particular at the unlikely team of John Kerry, Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham as they attempted, in classic Three Stooges style, to draft bipartisan legislation.

I was moved to read it by a recent Tom Friedman piece, "An X-Ray of Dysfunction," which is the Cliff Notes version, but you must read the New Yorker article to get the full sense of how inept and morally corrupt the legislative process has become in the hands of the Republicratic party – or Demoplican if you prefer.


kgwhit said...

Sadly it is not surprising. An interesting twist to explain the partisanship that is bantered about is the change in the seniority system.

Committee chairs no longer go to the senior member but usually to the best fundraiser. It is how Delay and Pelosi rose up the ranks.

Great fundraisers tend to be some of the most partisan who can fire up the base to give money.
They are likely to be the least likely to compromise and make a deal. You raise more money when you have an enemy and it is difficult to go to dinners and fire up the donors with talk of compromise. You have to paint the horns and tail on your adversary so that donors will open their wallets.

You can't make a deal for Cap and Trade during the day, if you just deposited a check meant to defeat the Godless SOB.

Again, the all harmful power of money in our elections.

fenway said...

You have become very prolific since school started.

Birdman said...

This article shows that the Obama administration demonstrates absolutely no leadership whatsoever on this issue. They'll sign off on whatever they come up with regardless of whether it makes sense or not. It's not so much that they don't have principles, it seems as though they just don't have a clue.

d'blank said...

@KG: interesting point.
@Fenway: There are a limited number of things to do here in God's Waiting Room
@Bird: I don't disagree, but I found the perverted, amoral process of legislating the more powerful lesson of the story

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