In response to a post by Dave Weigel, Kevin Drum writes this, in exasperation:
Why American Politics Is Broken In One SentenceAnd that's why, as Weigel tells us, even a drastically reduced emergency funding bill to deal with the border crisis may not pass the House.
Dave Weigel explains modern politics in a single sentence:
Voters are aware of a border crisis, they are aware that Barack Obama is president -- they blame him for nothing getting done.Yep. Republicans can basically do anything they want and never get blamed for it. Most voters don't even know who's in control of Congress anyway. When something goes wrong, all they know is (a) something went wrong, and (b) Barack Obama is the president and he should have done something about it.
That being the case, what incentive to Republicans have for making things go right? Pretty much none....
I think Drum is making an excellent point, but I'd qualify it. Some people don't blame Obama for doing nothing -- they blame Obama for doing too much. They accuse him of being a tyrant and taking the law into his own hands. I'm talking, of course, about the Fox/talk-radio right.
But most of the rest of America, as Drum says, would like Obama to take the law into his own hands. These people don't know how government works. They just expect the president to, well, lead somehow, all by himself, in utter disregard of how our government works.
So you've got one group of people who despite Obama for allegedly being a dictator and you've got another group of people who are dissatisfied because he's not a dictator.
So what portion of the country really understands the roadblocks in Obama's way?
Well, as a recent Pew poll noted, in only three groups -- so-called Steadfast Conservatives, Business Conservatives, and Solid Liberals -- do a majority know which party controls each house of Congress. The numbers in most of the other groups are woefully low:
We know that the Steadfast Conservatives and Business Conservatives hate Obama because they think he crushes the Constitution under his jackboot. The other groups, apart from the Solid Liberals, don't understand how government works. So that means only the Solid Liberals are sympathetic to Obama and understand the checks and balances that constrain him.
And what percentage of the country do they represent? Not a big one:
So only 15% percent of the public grasps the situation and feels open to a political philosophy other than wingnuttery.
The rest of the public needs some civics education. In the absence of that, yes, American politics is broken.