According to a new Washington Post poll just 21 percent of Americans are satisfied “with the way this country’s political system is working.” 45 percent are very dissatisfied, 33 percent are mostly dissatisfied. 71 percent say Washington is focused on the wrong things. Only 10 percent say congressional Republicans “have made progress toward solving” the nations problems, and only 19 percent say Obama’s made progress. Only 26 percent of Americans have confidence “that the problem actually will be solved” when the government decides to solve a problem. 71 percent say that S&P’s assessment that the US has become “less stable, less effective and less predictable” is fair.
So are Americans prepared to admit that there’s something wrong with the US political system? Nope:
This is really a shame. Obviously at this point there’d be no point in trying to change the basic institutional set up of American bicameralism and the independently elected president. But there are numerous sub-constitutional changes that could and should be made to move the United States in the direction of being a country that features responsible, accountable, empowered electoral majorities. Bills that command majority support should become law. Congress should have ample time (3 months?) to scrutinize the record of Presidential nominees, and then should vote to confirm or not confirm them in a timely manner. The Treasury Department should be fully empowered to engage in whatever borrowing is needed to fill the gap between the revenue congress has mandated and the expenditures congress has mandated.
There are some bad people in American politics. But the idea that nothing is working because each and every person inhabiting political office is constantly doing the wrong thing is misguided. But on both the mass and the elite level, we seem stuck on personalities and fantasies of third party presidential runs rather than thinking about real issues.