Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Tarring with the same brush

By Richard K. Barry

Carlyle, not Williams
We have known for some time that public approval of Congress is miserable, averaging, according to Gallup, around 14 percent for 2013. And in that number we find the greatest coup of the Republican Party over the past few years, which has been to successfully convince voters that Democrats share the blame with Republicans for the dysfunction.

But, as Juan Williams correctly points out, the truth needs to be seen in the context of one of the most quotable quotes of 2013, which Williams calls the quote of the year, from House Speaker John Boehner, Republican of Ohio:

We should not be judged on how many new laws we create. We ought to be judged on how many laws we repeal.

This understanding of government as "anarchy plus a constable," in the words of Thomas Carlyle, is just what Republicans seek. When in fact most people, despite what they say, want government to take positive action to solve their problems, or at least help solve them. 

For some reason many people have difficulty seeing the obvious, but is it really that hard to understand that today's GOP has done a great deal to ensure that government accomplishes as little as possible?  And, when very little is accomplished, is it any wonder that voters see the entire institution as a mess. 

As I never tire of saying, Republicans know Washington doesn't work because they broke it. 

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