Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Conservative Project

In March, Washington Post columnist, George Will, offered that Mitt Romney is not likely to beat President Obama, however had an interesting take on how Republicans should play the coming election. He offered that the GOP should spend the next 4 years working on “the long-term project of making conservatism intellectually coherent and politically palatable” and insisted that Republicans don’t need the presidency to accomplish this.
He proposed that Republicans maintaining control of the House and winning control of the Senate would be the most beneficial. In control, Republicans would be able to serve as filters for any of Obamas legislation reducing his ability act. Will’s most interesting point, however, is that a Republican controlled legislative branch working with a Democratic president would restore a “constitutional equipoise” between the legislative and executive branch.
The Brookings Study concludes that Obama has been overly deferential to congress, and has “sometimes seemed more that of a stakeholder mediating at arm’s length than the chief engineer of the policies he sought.” Because of this he spent the years of his presidency in a futile struggle for bipartisanship. If what George Will predicts is viable, maybe it we will see the strengthening of the legislative branch and the reelection of a lame-duck president. However this prediction shouldn’t sit well with you if you share the sentiment that partisan politics are a sign of life in a democratic polity. Although the excesses of partisanship have begun to block the needs of the citizenry, I can’t seem to wrap my head around an argument that split control of the legislative and executive branch will ease gridlock.

1 comment:

  1. The notion that a divided federal government is good is nothing new. I think it could ease gridlock because of the increased culpability of each of the branches. If Congress is passing no legislation onto the President, then it is their fault. If Obama is vetoing all bills, then it's his fault. What would probably happen would be a game of chicken between the President and Congress- with Congress pushing though very conservative legislation and Obama threatening to veto it. Eventually we could get a Clinton-era shutdown, "who blinks first" situation. We would then see if Obama or the Congress would get the blame and who is stronger.