Why is the System Broken?
I have heard "the system is broken" and "all politicians are the same" over and over when people speak of our political system. Mr. Mazurkiewicz claimed in his letter to the editor this past Saturday (August 13, 2016) that "both parties have been corrupted since [President] Reagan". I hear the problem called "gridlock", which implies that both parties are at fault. President Obama has been criticized for not making more effort to explain his programs or to reach across the aisle by all the commercial media corporations.
The facts paint a different picture: the problems in our governance are overwhelmingly caused by Republican obstructionism. Only the Republican Party is broken. I offer here a recap of some of the things Democrats have never done:
- Democrats have never shut down the government three times (or even once);
- Democrats have never filibustered more times in one year than in the history of the Senate, so that it now requires a 60-40 vote to even discuss a bill in that body;
- Democrats have never placed limiting a president to one term higher on their agenda than the welfare of the nation as did Mitch McConnell, leader of Senate Republicans;
- Democrats have never blocked a Supreme Court nomination of any Republican president, nor have they held up cabinet, department, and agency nominations for years;
- Democrats have never tried more than 50 times to take away health care insurance away from 20 million Americans as Republicans did in their attempts to rescind the Obamacare (or even once);
- Democrats have never had a "dirty tricks" committee to illegitimately undermine their Republican electoral opponents (Richard Nixon);
- Democrats have never attacked a Republican presidential candidate with 'swiftboating' (falsified attack) books and ad campaigns as Republicans have done starting with John Kerry;
- Democrats have never had a president resign in disgrace and have his successor pardon him for the crimes he committed (Richard Nixon);
- Democrats have never had a vice president plead "nolo contendere" (no contest) to bribery (Spiro Agnew);
- Democrats have never had a vice president who didn't know how to spell "potato" (Dan Quail);
- Democrats never had two (or even one) attorneys general sent to prison (John Mitchell, Richard Kleindienst);
- Democrats never had two (or even one) presidential chiefs of staff sent to prison (H. R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman);
- Democrats never had 138 presidential appointees leave office to serve sentences, under indictment, or under investigation, as occurred during the Reagan administration.
- Democrats never sent the country into a depression or brought us to the brink of one (Herbert Hoover, George W. Bush). In fact, Democrats led us out of both.
- Democrats have never nominated a candidate totally unqualified for the presidency.
- Democrats support democracy, threatened now in any state completely controlled by Republicans by voting restrictions they have passed.