For those people watching the current tug-of-war between Congress and the President over funding Obamacare, I “can’t” pass by this opportunity without commenting on the structural feature of the current political set-up that allows for this kind of difficulty to arise.
What’s at stake here is the smooth functioning of the American government, the wages of some government workers, but, even more importantly, America’s entry into the circle of nations who have universal medicare.
Universal medicare is one of the greatest blessings that government can confer. Any one of the lightworkers I know who cannot afford to get medical treatment would, I’m sure, agree.
I hope you don’t hear this as criticism but as a constructive comment aimed at those lightworkers who may be engaged in the reformation of government. I ask you to consider the matter.
In the British parliamentary system, the Prime Minister sits in the House of Commons and is (almost always) the leader of the party with the majority in Parliament. There would be little or no chance that the Prime Minister could not get his program of legislation through Parliament.
If it was defeated in a vote of non-confidence the Prime Minister and his or her party would cease to be the government of the day and a new government would be elected (or the old government reaffirmed) in a new election.
But in the American system, the President does not sit in Congress and must use moral suasion or pressure or whatever means available to try to persuade Congress to pass and fund his or her legislative program.
The cabal has determined to fight President Obama at every step and so he constantly faces an inability to get his legislative program through Congress and here we see universal medicare held hostage as a result.
How did this arise? Well, the American branches of government were designed at a time when parliamentary democracy had not evolved to the state where the Prime Minister was majority leader in the legislature. That development occurred after the American Revolution.
In effect the President is a stand-in for what in British politics of the time would have been the monarch.
But as what is termed “responsible government” evolved after the American Revolution, the position of Prime Minister arose, taking the constitutional initiative away from the monarch, giving rise eventually to the present parliamentary-democratic model.
Granted we’ll continue evolving in psychological character as we go further and further into the Golden Age so that obstructionism will subside, still I personally look to the future for the correction of this latent difficulty in the Congressional model. I’d like to see the President become the leader of the largest party in … what? The House of Representatives? The Senate? That’s for Americans to decide.
But whatever is chosen, the President needs to have the Congressional backing to get his program through and funded. This is an ideal situation in which to notice this way in which politics are currently structured and the difficulties it leads to.