The Founders and the States
Alon Loncar writes in with a good point:
One thing many people, including many limited government conservatives, say regarding Congress' snail's pace is that the system created by the Founders was more or less designed to be inefficient.
However, one key reason it was designed in such a way, was so that Congress and the federal govt. would not be able to pass much legislation and thus expand its power, encroaching on states' rights. Well, clearly that hasn't succeeded (it's irrelevant if you think that's good or bad for purposes of this discussion). The federal government is heavily involved in the nation and economy, so the inefficiency designed into the three branches of govt. (more so Congress) now works against us. Given that the federal govt. is so involved, now by default we need a Congress that can be more nimble and pass needed legislation quicker.
I'd agree with that, of course, but I'd just add that all the founder-worship is a bit bizarre. These guys kept slaves. They whored around. They loved France. They wore wigs. Some of them didn't even believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ. For all that, they wrote an uncommonly concise and effective constitution, but they were men, not gods. America was not a superpower. It did not have 50 states or 300 million people. There was no Internet or lobbying industry. Senators did not have Twitter accounts. Women could not vote. Facebook did not exist. As such, Sarah Palin could not have been foreseen.
Things were different then, and because of that, they need to be different now. In particular, the construction of our government was a way of solving the central problem of the nation: binding 13 fractious colonies into one union. But that's not the central problem facing our country in 2009. Instead, we are staring at a fiscal crisis caused by health-care costs and a planetary crisis caused by greenhouse gas emissions. And the unintended effect of how we solved that first problem -- we made the government weak so the states wouldn't lose their autonomy -- is impeding us from solving our current problems.
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