Occasional blogging, mostly of the long-form variety.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Our Dysfunctional Senate

Covering all the problems with our current political mechanisms – or even the Senate alone – would require a longer post, but George Packer's article "The Empty Chamber" gives some useful history and a good overview of how dysfunctional the U.S. Senate currently is.

A 2008 post by Norm Ornstein provides this handy chart, which helps show how unprecedented the current obstructionism is:

Jon Perr has several more charts on the same theme.

Meanwhile, this chart from the Center for American Progress shows the percentage of judicial nominees confirmed under recent presidents:

If that's democracy in action, it sure ain't pretty.



Anonymous said...

The U.S. Senate is not dysfunctional.

The GOP is the party of rule or ruin.

Their intent in the minority is to subvert our democratic processes until such time as they regain control of the legislative and executive apparatus.

The old chestnut that it embodies an honorable opposition is utterly bankrupt. It is absurd.

Given that plain truth, I submit the senate is functioning spectacularly well, if only in dancing to the tune played by the republican party.

As long as the enfeebled leadership of the democratic party refuses to condemn and confront it as a clear and present danger to our Republic, the republican party will continue to thrive. Barring that confrontation, its ultimate victory is all but assured.

Rehctaw said...

If that's democracy in action, it sure ain't pretty.

Democracy? It's not and it still ain't pretty.

Where we are today seems to be an amalgam of the downsides of every form of rule ever practiced short of human sacrifice.

Come to think of it, that's covered too.

libhom said...

Maybe Obama should stick to recess appointments for all nonjudicial appointees until the Republicans and conservative Democrats stop obstructing.