Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The benefits of paralysis

The NY Times has an article (Hip, Hip — if Not Hooray — for a Standstill Nation) in which it discusses the paralysis in the politics in Washington today. The article concludes that it is nothing new and that politics has always been this way:

Moreover, it’s useful to remember that the founders devised the system to be difficult, dividing power between states and the federal government, then further dividing the federal government into three branches, then further dividing the legislative branch into two houses. The idea, James Madison wrote, was to keep factions from gaining too much power, presuming that “a coalition of a majority of the whole society could seldom take place on any other principles than those of justice and the general good.”

This may be good to keep in mind the next time some Western diplomat claims that the mere fact that it has two entities makes Bosnia ungovernable.

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