Huffpost published an article this morning that gives voice to what a lot of us across the political spectrum are thinking these days. “Congress Is Failing: So Much For Checks And Balances” (Igor Bobic and Matt Fuller) poses the question, “What the hell is Congress good for?” The essay weaves the story of our current Congress by recounting ways our legislators have become defined by fear and loathing across the full spectrum of issues related to governance in general and the separation of powers in particular.
While the article’s center of gravity is the Trump presidency and the lock-step behavior of GOP legislators, it paints a picture of gradual decline in the effort and efficacy of Congress over time. This articulates the blame due both parties but does little to define the “why?” or light a path to restoring the lost balance of power.
The title certainly suggests a degree of finality but falls just short of stating what I believe the article makes obvious: We are past the tipping point and well down the road of a de facto constitutional reinterpretation that restores not the spirit of the democracy intended by framers but the social structure of the time in which it was written.
The article also seems to remove any doubt as to the intent behind the newly minted unity within the GOP elite (as differentiated from rank and file republican voters). Looking for a reason for Lindsey Graham flip-flops? Wondering why Sen. McConnell seems increasingly unguarded in stating what, in times past, would be unspeakable motives and plans? They simply believe that we are beyond the point of no return and political risk has been removed.
This isn’t nearly as complicated as the talking heads make it seem. The old white guys have played us all. They’ve seized the reins, removed the peaceful means of reform, sanctified absolute power and locked themselves in at the top.
We live in a world characterized by the increasing scarcity of resources, dwindling options across the board and the undeniable rise of, as they might put it, “the cream to the top,” economically speaking. To this point, progress required a degree of nuance to maintain control. Those niceties are no longer required and are seen far less often.
While the more nationalistic among us have pushed to preserve their guns and rail against the thought of one world government, the oligarchs have seized it all for themselves. It is, after all, the thing that most tightly binds Trump and Putin.