Monday, July 02, 2007

Gridlock in DC by The Vegas Art Guy


The very name conjures up images of huge traffic jams where tempers flare and time stands still. In Washington it's used to show how the system is broken and in need of repair... or is it?

Would it surprise you to learn that gridlock is built into how we make laws? Separation of powers, a bicameral legislature and an independent judiciary are all designed to make sure that it's very difficult to pass legislation in Washington DC.

Our founding fathers wanted to make sure that power was not usurped into the hands of a few, so they dispersed power into three branches and then allowed all the competing interests fight with each other knowing that change would come at a snails pace when no crisis was facing the country and that in times of war the country would come together out of self preservation, much like the Greek City States did in ancient times.

The result is that many times legislation does not get passed unless it's either very routine or in response to a true crisis. The minority party has enough power most times to scuttle legislation it does not like. That's why the filibuster in the Senate and procedural rules in the house are in place, not to irritate the average citizen but to protect them and us, from the government.

So the next time you hear or read about gridlock in DC, don't be alarmed, it means the system is working.