Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.



December 2009

Leftists Decry Lack Of Dictatorship In America

Written by , Posted in Legislation, Liberty & Limited Government

Matt Yglesias is upset and considers America to be “ungovernable” because Obama can’t just wave his hand and have his agenda pass without opposition:

We’re suffering from an incoherent institutional set-up in the senate. You can have a system in which a defeated minority still gets a share of governing authority and participates constructively in the victorious majority’s governing agenda, shaping policy around the margins in ways more to their liking. Or you can have a system in which a defeated minority rejects the majority’s governing agenda out of hand, seeks opening for attack, and hopes that failure on the part of the majority will bring them to power. But right now we have both simultaneously. It’s a system in which the minority benefits if the government fails, and the minority has the power to ensure failure. It’s insane, and it needs to be changed.

No, it doesn’t.  What we have is a system that protects itself from the whims of fanciful, but ill-considered change.

The guardian has also taken up the cause of whining about America’s “broken” system, which just refuses to allow the immediate and thoughtless adoption of a sweeping, radical agenda.

This is not Latin America, where any colorful demagogue can rise to power and immediately reshape an entire nation in his imagine.  Where Matt Yglesias and the hard-left see a bug, those more concerned about the nature of American democracy than the ability to ram through radical legislation see a feature.

The Senate is the only body in the government which protects minority rights from the trampling of the majority. It was designed specifically for that purpose, and although the nature of how it does so has changed, it continues to serve that purpose today.  We should not undo our governing model on the basis of the dictatorial impulses of Matt Yglesias.