The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Steve Kenny

Gridlock is our friend


To the Editor:

If I hear one more person champion the wisdom and reasonableness of reaching across the aisle, working together, embracing bipartisanship to “get things done in Congress,” I am going to blow a gasket. This Kumbaya pleading completely contradicts the intended governance in the United States. The Founding Fathers at the time of the penning of the Constitution embraced gridlock as a tool to prevent bad laws and bad things in general from happening.

The key concept of separation of powers whereby three branches of government with Executive (President), Legislative (Congress) and Judicial (Supreme Court) ensures that a level of gridlock would happen. No one person or small group of people could usurp control of the country. Separation of powers and many other key delineations of responsibility and limits thereof within the Constitution created checks and balances clearly meant to throw roadblocks up for the power hungry sure to emerge in any government.

Further, Congress was established as a bicameral legislature, meaning its power was further subdivided into two, the House of Representatives and the Senate. The House of Representatives was always a body elected by the people directly. However, the Senate was initially a body of representatives elected by state legislatures. This was changed by the 17th Amendment to what we have now. The House of Representatives was established with two-year terms of service. The Senate members serve six years. The founders intended to slow things down when they choose six year terms to temper enthusiasm seen within the House and its desire for quick action.

So before you start pining for bipartisanship and whining about gridlock, read up on your copy of the US Constitution!


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