Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Congress decides what presidents do

I am not absolutely sure whether or not this story has already been mentioned here or been discussed, but I at least did not see it.
I found a very interesting story published in the Washington Post some says ago. The basic claim is that it actually does not really matter who will win the presidential election in November. This - maybe surprising - claim is proposed since the "governing" of a president is in most cases nothing more than "passing legislation through Congress", and Congress is often not able to govern at all, or, in other words, to fulfill the role that is assigned to this institution by the Constitution of the United States.The article outlines two possibilities after the elections in November. The argue that - should Romney win - he would be likely to have a Republican House and a Republican Senate, although the majorities might not be large. I at first do not see a Republican Senate yet, but this is a different issue. In the view of the authors of the article, a newly elected President Romney (with majorities in both House and Senate) would be able to govern much more effectively than a re-elected President Obama.
From my point of view, this is all but sure. Of course the Republicans would be able to pass important legislation by employing reconciliation and Romney might be able to appoint people by using recess appointments, but do we really think that gridlock would be overcome in case there is a "unified" government? And what would a sustained gridlock in such a case tell us about the way the political system of the U.S. works?

1 comment:

  1. I think that the possibility of a better functioning government under unified Republican control (with slight majorities) is more likely than what was hoped for when democrats were in the same position back in 2008. I would attribute this to the greater level of party unity displayed by the Republicans. They more often than Democrats have shown their ability to work together with little dissent to force through their legislative agenda. Whether or not this will be good for the country and the congress I dont know but I do believe we would see a rise in governing efficiency.