Gridlock Self-Destruction

The Framers of the Constitution deliberately made the passage of legislation time consuming and difficult, thereby preventing Congress from acting hastily and making regrettable decisions. Problem is that today our major economic competitor, our number one foreign threat, if you will, the People’s Republic of China, does not abide by the same Madisonian principle. While our 100 Senators and 435 Representatives mull over bills indefinitely, create gridlocks, wrangle tooth and nail for the largest possible piece of the tax-revenue pie, while they expend precious time and energy exercising their adversarial lawyerly skills to the hilt, you can be sure that the seven-member Politburo Standing Committee and the fifteen-member Full Politburo Committee of China, obedient to the designs of the Communist Party, are all on the same page, making quick decisions and outmaneuvering us at every turn.

Now, we might take satisfaction in badmouthing the Chinese, denouncing them as violators of human rights, ruthless exploiters of the common worker, exporters of unsafe toys and contaminated food, suppressors of free speech, polluters, tyrants, baby killers, and all the rest, but we might as well be barking at the moon. The fact remains that they are rapidly forging ahead of us as the world’s economic superpower, and that emerging nations will be adopting their model, not ours.

This is not to suggest, of course, that we should emulate the Chinese. What works for them in context of their history and culture could not possible work for in contrext of ours. Still, we cannot afford to go on giving them a divide-and-conquer handle against us on a silver platter. Our current financial and social crisis calls for national unity. Recall how quickly the Soviet empire collapsed once it started to crumble from within.

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