The standard dictionary definition of the word “gridlock” is “a traffic jam in which a grid of intersecting streets is so completely congested that no vehicular movement is possible.”
Obviously, this word is a modern invention, as it is used to refer to a traffic congestion or situation that describes an almost daily occurrence in busy streets of modern cities.
One etymological account reveals that the word “gridlock” was first used in 1980 “to describe a ‘worst-case scenario’ for traffic in New York City, in which the grids or cross-patterns of the city literally locked, tying up traffic in all directions”.
A decade later, political pundits imported the term to the realm of politics to describe the chronic inability of lawmakers to pass much-needed legislation due to political deadlock or stalemate. In the 1990s, American liberals and democrats started using the term ‘political gridlock’ in a pejorative sense to denounce the American system’s separation-of-power institutions and checks and balances, as well as the failure of the Clinton regime to pass socialized healthcare measure and other progressive/liberal legislation.
Liberal and leftist pundits were greatly frustrated by the fact that the “fragmented nature of the Constitution” prevented them from pushing their political agenda and changing America’s political landscape with their liberal policies.
If the Clinton-era liberals merely resorted to liberal, left-leaning punditry, today’s liberals and democrats have discovered a new method to effectively attack the American system and shape the American public’s perceptions.
Post-American liberals have declared that America’s gridlock-prone “presidential system” is problematic, or even dangerous, because of its principles of separation of powers, division of powers, and checks and balances. They’ve been citing the current federal government shutdown to prove their case that the rigid American system of government is inferior to Europe’s gridlock-proof parliamentary system.
The thing is, a cursory analysis of their utterly flawed, rhetorical, fallacious arguments shows that what is actually problematic and dangerous is not the gridlock-prone and rigid American system, but the liberals’ and democrats’ “gridlocked” mentality.
I define “gridlocked” mentality as the opportunistic thinking or strategic belief that major political crises or squabbles (e.g., government shutdown, recession, etc.) can be used as an opportunity or vehicle to pursue one’s sinister political agenda.
In the United States, the government shutdown exposed the liberals’ gridlocked mentality. The refusal of the establishment Democrats to negotiate reveals they are more determined to divide the nation with their politics of blame and to spout nonsensical political rhetoric (e.g., their attempt to blame the Constitution), instead of telling the public what really caused the crisis and how to solve it.
A number of influential liberals and media outlets have also been politicizing Obama’s shutdown by blaming not only the GOP (Grand Old Party), but also the U.S. Constitution and its “gridlock-prone” institutions and systems.
Left-leaning MSNBC media pundit Chris Hayes, for example, declared that the shutdown “is exposing the fatal flaw in our Constitution and highly distinct system of government. In other words, it’s the Constitution’s fault.”
Former President Bill Clinton, who failed to realize his universal healthcare dream, said that the Americans “face terrible political gridlock now”, as there “there remain racial inequality in employment, income, health, wealth, incarceration and in the victims and perpetrators of violent crime.” The two-term Democrat Clinton was very unlucky to have two legislative chambers controlled by the Republican Party during his final years in the Oval Office.
As for President Barack Husein Obama, he blamed the gridlock in Washington on big money. “There aren’t a lot of functioning democracies around the world that work this way, where you can basically have millionaires and billionaires bankrolling whoever they want, however they want, in some cases undisclosed,” he said.
That statement came from a divisive imperial president who gave ObamaCare exemptions to leftist unions and big businesses that strongly supported his socialized and failed healthcare program.
Very clearly, the leftists and liberals are yet again whining, complaining, crying about America’s rigid, gridlock-prone system because they’re now in power and they can’t do or get whatever they want. The main reason why they’re unable to achieve all their progressive, leftist programs and policies is because they lost control of the Congress in 2011.
The Democrats were only able to pass their socialized healthcare program, the Affordable Health Act (ACA) or ObamaCare, in 2010 because they controlled both the House and the Senate.
Here, I am going to argue that America’s gridlock-prone Republican Federal system, not presidentialism, has been actually serving as the country’s ‘knight in shining armor’ during its more than 200 years of existence. [Click HERE to better understand the proper concept of political gridlock or how it is used in politics].
Now, think of the most hated, dangerous laws in the United States. I believe most Americans would agree with me that the following are the most hated and most divisive laws passed by their legislators:
- The Federal Reserve Act of 1913 that is being blamed for America’s fractional reserve, or even fiat money, system.
- The 1977 Community Reinvestment Act that greatly contributed to the 2008 recession.
- The 2001 PATRIOT Act passed after the September 11 attacks.
- The ACA or ObamaCare that increases Americans’ healthcare premiums and might cause some to lose their existing insurance.
All the aforementioned divisive laws were passed and enacted by gridlock-free regimes. Or, perhaps most of America’s stupid, oppressive laws were passed by “gridlock-free” regimes. The Democrats-controlled Congress also passed a personal income tax , which was promptly signed by Democratic Pres. Wilson, in 1913. This “democratic” move, as well as the 16th amendment to the Constitution during the same year, made personal income tax a perpetual component of the U.S. tax system, thanks to the gridlock-free Wilson regime.
This strongly confirms my argument that political gridlock– which is caused by political misunderstandings and differences– is simply part of America’s functional republican system.
One liberal commentator made an absurd claim that “the current gridlock in some ways is the worst dysfunction since then.” Such a claim is premised on another absurd argument that “the country has several pretty serious issues that need to be addressed by the government.”
Again, who really caused the current federal government shutdown?
From my previous blog:
The truth of the matter is, the Republicans in Congress passed a budget bill that fully funded the government, except for ObamaCare. The Republicans defunded the ObamaCare, as they sought to delay it for a year, a decision that was supported by leftist unions and big businesses that strongly supported Obama’s socialist healthcare program. But instead of negotiating with Congress, Obama, who was willing to provide exemptions to unions and big businesses, ordered federal government agencies to shutdown.
Now, from the facts of the case, it’s pretty much clear it was the Democrats and Obama who shut the government down. Obama’s, America’s first openly Marxist president, was willing to negotiate with Iran and Syria, but not with the GOP. He didn’t just shut down public parks and federal offices, but private parks and businesses that don’t get funding from the federal government as well.
As American free market economist Thomas Sowell said, “The Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted all the money required to keep all government activities going — except for ObamaCare.” Despite funding the government, Democrats-controlled Senate “chose not to vote to authorize that money to be spent, because it did not include money for ObamaCare.”
And before ordering federal agencies to shut down, Obama kept on saying they “will not negotiate”. Again, this came from a narcissistic U.S. President who gave delays and exemptions to Obama-supporting unions and big businesses like Starbucks.
Obviously, it was Obama and his democratic minions who shut the government down.
Yet it appears that the Democrats are willing to compromise, as post-shutdown surveys show Obama’s approval ratings had plunged to 37%.
As more and more Americans grew upset over the failed and punitive ObamaCare law (they finally learned that it increases their insurance premiums), the Establishment liberals and democrats have not only resorted to politics of blame; they’ve also resorted to Politics of Blame Avoidance to secure their survival in the 2016 midterm elections.
Thus, all the liberals can do is try to sustain their gridlocked mentality and take this very opportunity to peddle their anti-American, leftist rhetoric. Whenever a Democrat president is in power and that one chamber of the legislative branch is controlled by an opposing party, liberals and democrats always whine about America’s rigid, gridlock-prone Constitution that prevents them from quickly passing progressive, left-leaning legislation.
The truth of the matter is, this is exactly how the founding fathers designed America’s political system. They clearly understand that government is- or represents- force. Thus, they established a Republican-Federal system that limits the powers and arbitrary authority of the government.
James Madison warned his colleagues and the future generations not to quickly pass and enact legislative measures because it would increase the “mutability of the law” and result in “public instability”. It seems that Madison America’s future, as his prescient warning clearly describes some of the “mischievous effects of a mutable government” that invariably changes the law to suit the agenda of a ruling Big Government and its adherents.
Here’s Madison’s statement that presciently describes the current Obamacare fiasco in the United States:
The internal effects of a mutable policy are still more calamitous. It poisons the blessings of liberty itself. It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood: if they be repealed or revised before they are promulg[at]ed, or undergo such incessant changes, that no man who knows what the law is to-day, can guess what it will be to-morrow.
Indeed, Madison and the founding fathers warned the American people of a “mischievous” government (e.g,. the Obama regime) that is determined to quickly pass destructive, voluminous legislation like ObamaCare. Remember ousted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who obviously didn’t read ObamaCare, which is more than 2,000 pages in length, and who said this the famous line– “We Have to Pass the Bill So That You Can Find Out What Is In It”?
Quo vadis, America? Get yourself together and go back to your founding principles!
RELATED BLOG POSTS:
Despite Shutdown, Americans Still Prefer Gridlock-Prone Republican Federalism to Any Alternative System
While U.S. President Barack Obama and his democratic minions continue to blame Republicans for the Democrat-ordered government shutdown and to punish the American people, there doesn’t seem to be any evidence that most Americans now prefer a single-party government or any alternative system.
Fortunately, Americans are not buying MSNBC’s and liberal news media’s stupid propaganda and talking points that the gridlock-prone American Constitution is to blame for the latest government shutdown and inability of democratic lawmakers and the Obama government to push their political agenda.
Sorry, folks, especially Mr. Dumdum (the most shameless parliamentary propagandist I’ve ever seen and encountered online), but pork barrel also exists, or is even rampant, in parliamentary countries.
Those who believe that a shift to parliamentarism is the only answer to our “pork barrel” crisis are either lying or politically naive. The only practical solution to this pork issue is: ABOLISH PORK BARREL and totally remove the power or capacity of our lawmakers or any politicians to abuse, misappropriate public money.
A Parliamentary Dum-Dum’s Tyrannical “Gridlock is Bad” Clueless Diatribe Against America’s Pol System
If Mr. Orion Dumdum really knew the facts of the case, he’d understand that the Republican-controlled House funded all government agencies and programs, except for ObamaCare. In fact, at least 17 Democrats joined the Republican lawmakers in passing their budget bill to the Democrats-dominated U.S. Senate, which rejected it.
The lower-house lawmakers were simply doing their job. Everything they did was constitutional. According to the U.S. Constitution, “All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.” That’s exactly what the congressmen did. The truth is, it was the Democrats who caused or ordered the so-called shutdown.
The ongoing political friction between the Judiciary and the united Executive-Legislature may precipitate a political deadlock, which may result in our own version of partial government shutdown. Federal government shutdown in the United States was caused by legislative budget gridlock (between Republican-controlled House and Democrat-controlled Senate) over President Barack Obama’s healthcare law. In the Philippines, a partial shutdown may be triggered by the Court’s possible nullification of B.S. Aquino’s pork barrel, a situation that might render the president’s pet projects and our lawmakers’ deep pockets totally UNFUNDED.