Tag Archives: Congress dysfunction

Can Congress Be Fixed?


This first appeared in Katie Couric Media

Congress is broken and needs to be fixed…but there is a path forward.

Do you believe the federal government ought to be active or passive, bigger or smaller, weak or strong, socialist or anarchist, isolationist or internationalist — or somewhere in between?

Don’t dwell on it too long. Your opinion doesn’t matter. You know why?

Because the vast majority of those options can’t be transformed into public policy when government can’t function; and more to the point, if Congress can’t legislate. Which is exactly what’s happening now. Continue reading

‘Cannot See the Forest For the Trees’


‘Cannot See the Forest for the Trees’ is an old English idiom that the dictionary says dates back to the 16th Century. It describes a situation in which the bigger picture is overlooked because of a focus on detail.

It came to mind during the 4-day super-charged opening of the 118th Congress that ultimately resulted in the election of Kevin McCarthy as Speaker.

Twenty House Republicans turned the usually ritualistic formality into high drama. There was a dichotomy of motivations as Karl Rove pointed out in the Wall Street Journal today. Some of those members had a sincere if not passionate interest in rules changes that would open up the legislative process so that rank-and-file members had more influence over the flow of bills, resolutions, and amendments. There was merit in some of those changes, but not all. Karen Tumulty explored those worthwhile procedures in the Washington Post.

Others were making a power grab or just sticking it to Kevin McCarthy, who they consider a poor legislator and lacking in ideology or allegiance to their right-wing orthodoxy—distinguishable from conservative orthodoxy.

But the combatants really overlooked the forest for the trees. Continue reading

Why Congress Is So Dysfunctional



            The Sunday talk shows again this week devoted a lot of attention to the dysfunction of Congress. In fact, it was the theme of Face the Nation, which featured two members of the Senate with a reputation for bipartisanship, Democrat Bayh of Indiana and Republican Graham of South Carolina.
Continue reading