Why We Get Paralysis
Why can’t we have a smoothly-functioning democratically representative government? Because those other guys won’t compromise!
I can see how the linked poll creates a perception that there is equivalency of fault for paralysis in government such as we see now in Washington. But this is not necessarily the case. Impasse is possible in negotiations with all permutations of reasonability. Nevertheless, complex, difficult decisions induce paralysis when presented to the public at large — whether this presentation be made through free market or democratic mechanisms.
Resolved: sooner rather than later when the body politic is confronted with problems that require selection of the least bad amongst several bad options by way of analysis of deferred benefits and expenses, the public lacks the sophistication necessary to navigate such decisions and therefore those individuals who hold public office must stop simply trying to represent their constituents and start exercising their best independent judgment, and this point is reached sooner rather than later when confronting these tough decisions.*
I’ve got to be in court for the rest of the morning. So discuss amongst yourselves, although it’s become obvious to the casual observer that in present circumstances, we’ve passed this point. Also: I intend the above observation to have application beyond the current mess in Washington; I think it’s a generally universal truism that small groups of decision-makers are more likely to break out of impasse in tough decisions than large groups of decision-makers.
* Damn, that’s a long sentence. If I had more time, I’d have written a shorter one.