"Those obstructionist Republicans -- they won't let President Obama get things done!"
This common cry from the Left...blaming the lack of progress in our nation on Republicans who won't just go along with President Obama's agenda...because it would so totally work if we just let him do it!
Let's set aside for a moment the fact that a) President Obama had two years in his first term with no opposition and got to pass 100% of his agenda and it didn't solve our nation's problems and b) the American people purposely elected divided government and deal with the crux of the issue -- the Founding Fathers intended government to move slowly.
This is why new laws must pass through both the House and Senate (both at the committee level and then at a full body vote), and in the latter body can be stopped in it's tracks by a filibuster requiring a 60 vote super-majority to break. Then, the President must sign the bill to make it a law. If the President vetoes the law it requires a 2/3 majority of both the House and Senate to override the veto. (For those of you from Palm Beach County, FL just click here for a more appropriate explanation.)
It was SUPPOSED to be hard to pass a new law. The President isn't supposed to get his laws passed immediately because the President says so. Actually, many of our founders didn't even believe the President should set the agenda AT ALL but rather that this right fell to Congress. For this reason, the first six Presidents of the United States only used the veto 8 times over the course of a total of 40 years (this included John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and John Quincy Adams who did not use the veto AT ALL). These six Presidents made all their vetoes on Constitutional grounds ONLY...believing that the bills past were Unconstitutional. It wasn't until President Andrew Jackson did we see Presidents veto duly passed bills because they simply opposed them. (In fact, the first 14 Presidents only exercised the veto 19 times in the first 68 years of the Constitution.)
The point of this lovely history lesson? The Founders WERE NOT worried about "getting things done." They recognized that if the nation rams through laws it's very possible the nation ends up with unenforceable, impossible laws that end up causing more problems than they solve -- if they solve any at all (see: Obamacare).
Furthermore, the system of checks and balances created in the Constitution actual means there will be deadlock to ensure that the American people actually WANT the laws put into place rather than one party ramming through their agenda. If there wasn't the system of checks and balances there would be an upheaval of our society's laws each time the balance of power shifted in Washington.
In addition, allowing the party in power to just "get stuff done" and ram through their agenda would lead to the tyranny of the majority. If the majority decided to vote away the rights of men to wear red shirts, then that would become the law of the land until a new majority voted to change that law. After all, that would be letting that party "get things done" right? Outlawing red shirts on men is in fact a thing that got done.
No party has a right to ram through their agenda, regardless of whether or not they claim that it would so totally work. That is not how the Constitution was written and how our nation was founded. Liberals can whine and moan about poor President Obama being obstructed and stopped from getting things done, that's the way the Constitution was written. Liberals should feel free to deal with it.
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