Senate How to best fix U.S. government?

Discussion in 'Community' started by Ghost, Mar 29, 2014.


How can U.S. government best be fixed? (besides constitutional amendments)

disclosure and transparency for political campaign financing 8 vote(s) 40.0%
nonpartisan congressional redistricting for the House 6 vote(s) 30.0%
further erode the filibuster and similar measures in the Senate 3 vote(s) 15.0%
automatic voter registration/updating 2 vote(s) 10.0%
mandate that the options of early voting and vote-by-mail be available in every state 4 vote(s) 20.0%
eliminate the debt ceiling 3 vote(s) 15.0%
make it so government is always continuously funded (shutdowns no longer possible) 2 vote(s) 10.0%
Other? (please explain) 13 vote(s) 65.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    I don't think this was quite a fair accusation to make. Within this single paragraph itself, you start to down-playing the legitimate basis for the question. You asked whether specific functions of government were not being filled. Yes. The shutdown represented exactly such an instance, but you instead pivot to questioning how much damage it was "really" doing.

    In fact, complaints about the function of government are not a partisan phenomenon. Legislators from both sides of the aisle have bemoaned the lack of opportunities to actually legislate, and long time office-holders characterize this period as unusual. Objective statistical analyses are supportive of this notion, as the latest Congresses have been some of the most unproductive in modern history. This is interesting because contrary to conservative rhetoric that they want to be judged by the number of new laws they stop, I'd point out that they too have legislative priorities that aren't getting through. As your own post notes, a whole pile of their proposals from the House are sitting around unacted on. Finally, bills that are typically passed without any great measure of partisan controversy have had an extremely difficult time passing, as in the 3 years it took to compose a 5 year farm bill.

    It would perhaps be fair to characterize this as an artifact of broader polarization in the country. Alternatively, one could argue over the degree to which any of these single data points represent a meaningful, actionable trend. But I don't think it's fair, in light of all this, to simply accuse someone of cloaking partisan concerns in more lofty sounding rhetoric. Both in the short and medium term past, the government has functioned more smoothly than it is now. Asking how we could improve it isn't inherently partisan, even given the way Ghost asked the question.
  2. Darth Guy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2002
    star 10
    Don't worry, guys. The Supreme Court fixed everything yesterday.
  3. Souderwan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2005
    star 6
    Nope. I asked three questions:

    1. What metric are you using?
    2. Are vital services not being met? (note. I didn't say "specific").
    3. Are large-scale specific roles of the government as required by the Constitution not being filled?

    I then pointed out that "Even in the midst of the "disastrous" government shutdown, the vast majority of federal services continued to function normally."

    So I take issue with your mischaracterization of my post.
  4. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8

    In light of this superior reading of your original post, you did not downplay a notion of government dysfunction that your own post would have raised. However, you were still broadly dismissive of the notion that someone might find the government dysfunctional. You in fact said "The question you're really asking is 'How do I fix it so that my party's agenda can move forward in the face of fierce minority opposition'? Or more precisely, 'How can we further minimize the effect of the Tea Party Republicans'?"

    I stand by the broad intent of my post, and the issue it took with your own.
  5. Souderwan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2005
    star 6
    I'll concede that I was dismissive. I don't take issue with your overall point. I believe my interpretation of the overall thrust of the thread, given the options provided in the poll, is fairly accurate. I stand by that assessment.
  6. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    There's a massive gap between the number of people looking for work and the number of available jobs. Since you can't magically handwave that gap away, you're not really creating work or "skills" in general terms, you're just taking away food stamps, and by extension, food. That's why it's an odd definition of "help" ( despite the fact that pointing such a thing out apparently has the subtle metaphysical effect of making the "problem" of the social safety net worse, or other such nonsense ).

    The group you're really trying to help here is, of course, the 1%. But according to textbook conservative practice one's true motives must be couched in Orwellian doublespeak.