Governance by Crisis

This is the second piece Ezra Klein has written on this, and it is essential to understand. When Congress is dysfunctional, the other two branches of government in turn accumulate power in a manner that is decidedly anti-democratic. This is why we’ve been waiting on the edge of our seats with the last couple of years for the Supreme Court to hand down massive decisions at the end of every term. And why the President has implemented major policy initiatives by executive (and some say dictatorial) fiat.

These trends will continue until Congress comes to terms with its responsibilities and begins to exercise its authority again. Failure of Congress to compromise and agree does not just create government dysfunction, it creates government that is almost entirely unaccountable to the electorate. This is not exactly what I bet most conservatives had in mind when they launched this type of governance-by-crisis in the mid-1990’s with the Gingrich revolution.

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