Greg Sargent argues in the WaPo that the current gridlock in DC isn’t the “good” kind of gridlock that can symbolize vigorous debate and discussion of important issues, but is instead the work of Republicans deliberately trying to sabotage legislation.
That’s what gridlock is, no matter who perpetuates it (Sargent, I suspect, wants the bills in question to pass; so what. There are plenty of people that don’t want them to pass). And it’s good. The less gets done in DC the better given that the vast majority of what gets done in DC is Congress and the President mucking with other people’s lives.
Sargent’s lousy reasoning is encapsulated in this paragraph on immigration reform and Obamacare:
On immigration, the current bill that is moving forward is not Obama’s bill; it passed the Senate by a wide bipartisan margin, and contains enormous concessions to conservatives in the way of border security. But there is still no sign that there isanything that can get a majority of House Republicans to sign on to a path to citizenship, even though poll after poll shows a majority of Americans support it. This is the real reason the two sides remain “far apart” on the issue. On Obamacare, the GOP’s gleeful, wholly unconstructive response to the delay in the employer mandate shows that Republican policy is still being dictated by a refusal to accept that the Affordable Care Act is the law of the land, as Jamelle Bouie has detailed. Indeed, the mandate delay is now being cited by some Republicans in the House as a reason to oppose immigration reform, because it shows Obama can’t be trusted, or something — as if there is anything that could get them to support any reform with citizenship in the first place.
On immigration: just because the majority of Americans (including myself) support it, doesn’t mean that others don’t. Majority rule democracy – what Sargent seems to be endorsing – is very, very bad. And just because there are some members of Congress who won’t support citizenship no matter what, doesn’t mean that they can be ignored (fortunately or unfortunately, that’s not how representative democracy works). Furthermore, his reasoning on the specific point of “not following the rules” (vis a vis ignoring the will of certain obstinate legislators/citizens) is in direct contradiction to his reasoning on Obamacare (below), where he seems to want to blindly follow the rules.
On Obamacare: just because it’s law doesn’t mean it’s good; and just because it’s law doesn’t mean it can’t be repealed or rendered useless (either of which would be good outcomes in my opinion). So I appreciate that there is continued opposition to Obamacare. Furthermore, in direct contradiction to his thinking on majority rule immigration reform, the majority of American’s do not support Obamacare (here and here), yet Sargent seems unphased by this fact with respect to his support for the law.
The less that gets done the better. Gridlock is good. Repealing laws is better.