Friday, May 13, 2011

This Is Not What Democracy Looks Like

When people look back and see when things truly went to shit for us, this quote from Mitch McConnell should get mentioned.
The main argument: If the president met Republicans and agreed to entitlement reform -- with no tax increases -- then both parties would be inured from political damage.

"I view this as a major opportunity for us to do something important for the country," said McConnell. "Think of Tip O'Neill and Ronald Reagan in 1983, when they fixed Social Security for a generation. Think of Bill Clinton and the Republicans on welfare reform in 1996. Think of Bill Clinton and the Republicans actually balancing the budget in the 1990s. Look, divided government, when neither party controls the government is the best time, the best time, and some would argue the only time, when you can do really big stuff. And if you do it on a bipartisan basis... I was running for the Senate the first time in 1984. This was the year after the bipartisan agreement between Reagan and O'Neill raised the retirement age for Social Security. I do not exaggerate when I say I was not asked about it a single solitary time. Not once in the course of a whole race. And the reason was that they did it together. When you do something together, the result is that it's not usable in the election. I think there's an understanding that if there's a grand bargain, none of it will be usable in next year's election."
And that's basically the end of any healthy democracy right there: Both parties collaborating on something monstrous in order to ensure that the public doesn't have anyone to blame. Credit to McConnell, he's more honest than most, and he actually said it out loud.

1 comment:

  1. "The best time:" when the government develops in secret, in an era with no transparency and no interest in informing the American people of its intent or actions, an internal consensus about a law that directly harms the livelihoods of the majority of Americans.