Monday, August 21, 2017
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Trump and the Republicans, or, How to Treat Gangrene

This piece is running in newspapers in VA-06, my very red congressional district represented (or mis-represented) by Bob Goodlatte. Here are the words of our...

The Repair and Maintenance of Congress

The word which most frequently comes to mind when thinking of Congress is "dysfunctional." Some go even further and say the system as a whole is broken, generally when they do not get what they wanted. As Mickey Edwards (Republican Representative from OK-5 1977-1993, who voted for Barack Obama in 2008) writes in the July-August 2011 edition of The Atlantic, Congressional leaders of either party readily admit that their goal is to elect more of their own kind, and prevent the election of the other---- in other words, to seek partisan advantage, rather than to address the serious problems facing the country.

As I have said elsewhere, political parties are never mentioned in the Constitution; there is no Article IV for political parties, following Article I (Legislative), Article II ( Executive), and Article III (Judicial)---- actually, Article IV is miscellaneous, like "full-faith-and-credit." Yet, we have turned over our entire election system to political parties, which are ad hoc and extra-constitutional groups, more interested in perpetuating themselves than in anything else.  It is their stranglehold on the system which has produced most of the frustrating dysfunctionality in government, not anything inherent in the Constitutional system itself.  Mr. Edwards has come up with six suggestions for how, he says, to "turn Republicans and Democrats into Americans," and, just maybe, get something done in Washington.