LC’s Commentary

Listen To The Voice of Reason

New Blood in the House of Representative

 Someone said a house divided cannot not stand.  Is the House of Representative crumbling? Is the weight of partisanship more than it can bear?  Research shows this question was on the minds of many nearly a hundred years ago. Battles over political party control were in full swing in 1912 and beyond.  These battles hindered badly needed reforms in many areas of government.  Many reforms, badly needed in the area of economic controls were not passed due to party bickering and unadulterated partisanship between Republicans and Democrats in the House of Representative. Some forward thinking students of politics felt there was a need to reform the government itself before any significant work could be done to reform the US economic system.

Today we are getting the same arguments that were made in 1912. Some say, as they did in 1912-many corporations are too large and abuse their power against workers. One side of the aisle says the government should trust a corporation to do the right thing and little or no oversight is needed. Others say there is such a thing as bad trust, and without proper oversight, good trust will be abused.

Is our form of government antiquated, thus not properly suited to deal with the ever-changing US capitalistic system?  Is the government keeping up with the industries it attempts to regulate? On the surface, the answer is no. The current recession and what led to it, (banking and housing fiascos) speaks volumes about how far corporations are ahead of government regulators.  Is the US form of government designed to be slow, awkward and un-wielding?  Is there a way to modernize how the House of Representative works so it can keep abreast of the needs of this nation as it tries to initiate rules, regulations and other forms of controls designed to protect this nation from abuses by corporations? 

As the House bogs down in partisan politics and virtually refuses to do this nation business, the burden to put in place, or revise existing regulations to keep up with the needs of this nation will default to the executive branch.  Some of this is happening today. Criticism that President Obama and his administration are assuming too much power at the expense of the House of Representative may have some validity but could be because the House is reneging on its obligations to make law. Fact is, the Executive Branch is doing what the House is incapable of doing or cannot put aside partisan politics long enough to get anything of significance accomplished. 

The new crop of representative coming to Washington DC in January, must have a different mindset than what currently exist in Washington. They are fooling themselves if they think they are going to go to Washington, wrest power from sitting lawmakers and make wholesale changes to the way thing are done in the House.  However, some changes are inevitable and would take place even if there were fewer new faces coming to town.  Unless these new folks figured out a way to get elected without being beholden to big money, they will be in the same boat with sitting lawmakers-in the boat with lobbyists and big business.

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December 1, 2010 - Posted by | Politics

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