Monday, December 14, 2009


That's the word Yglesias has used to describe America. Steny Hoyer has said similar things, as has Ezra Klein.

We have a serious problem in this country in that our government seems to be completely incapable of taking on the many important issues facing our country in a serious manner. We finally have a president who seems interested in tackling the problems we're facing, and he's stymied by a legislature that allows major and needed legislation to be held hostage by the egos of men like Joe Lieberman.

It's bad enough that most of the electorate doesn't know jack-shit about policy (and nobody in the media reports on policy, only on process), but that's why it's a republic, right? We elect people we trust to make informed decisions. Unfortunately, many of those we elect seem to be uninterested in doing the right thing, and more interested in winning reelection, getting on TV, and ensuring constant stroking of their... egos.

Our government is dysfunctional, and there's no light at the end of the tunnel.

Plato wrote that:

Until philosophers are kings, or the kings and princes of this world have the spirit and power of philosophy, and political greatness and wisdom meet in one, and those commoner natures who pursue either to the exclusion of the other are compelled to stand aside, cities will never have rest from their evils, --nor the human race, as I believe, --and then only will this our State have a possibilityof life and behold the light of day.

I think we're about as far from that ideal as it gets right now.

EDIT: Paul Krugman has a different word for it: failed state.


  1. Unlike the Joe Lieberman's (I-Cigna) of the world, I am convinced President Obama is trying to do the right thing for America on health care, Afghanistan, global warming and the economy even if it means he will be a one term President.

  2. That's probably true, but it doesn't help him wrangle congress into getting things accomplished. He may be willing to make tough choices, but congress is not. Whatever health-care bill that gets passed will be far far weaker than it could be. Waxman-Markey was bad enough, and it will only get mangled further in the Senate. His next task is going to be deficit-reduction. I have doubts as to how willing congress will be to cut spending, reform entitlement programs, and reform/raise taxes.