Ralph Benko

Many hands are being wrung among the elite governing class about Congressional gridlock. The Democrats have invoked the “nuclear option” — allowing the Senate majority in effect to prevail by simple, rather than 60%, majority. (This will come back to haunt them if majority control turns Republican in next year’s election.)

Fortunately for us mere citizens the House is still Republican controlled. It thereby is situated to block the worst Big Government initiatives.

In the great “Hunting of the Snark” on Capitol Hill many legislators of both parties have broken their picks in “supercommittees” and “gangs” and other efforts to foment a “grand bargain” or other grandiose deal. This typically is done in the name of “bipartisanship.”

“Bipartisanship” makes this writer uneasy. It often represents Washington code signifying collusion by Republicans and Democrats to stick it to the taxpayers and citizens. So in this celebratory season gridlock is something to celebrate.

The Founders intentionally created a legislative, and governmental, system where it was hard to enact bad ideas. Our ruling elites have a burden of persuasion, built right into the Constitution, that the laws they seek to enact are all (or at least mostly) to the good.

Legislation should be difficult. As President John F. Kennedy unforgettably observed in announcing the manned moon program: “We choose to go to the moon … and do other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.”

The Obama administration, from the president on down, has sought to circumvent its Constitutional burden of persuasion. It has done so through duplicity, as in “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it” — an aggressively repeated claim that has won the presidentPolitifacts’Lie of the Year.” The Obama administration also has sought to circumvent the Constitutional burden of persuasion through abuse of the regulatory process, which Heritage Foundation calls an upcoming Regulatory “Superstorm.”

Bipartisanship, in the system designed by the Founders and currently being trampled by progressives, is something to be reserved for really good ideas. The “American Way” simply is not amenable to the jejune notions of Romantic Utopians such as those of our dear “progressives.”

Ralph Benko

Ralph Benko, author of The Websters’ Dictionary: How to use the Web to transform the world. He serves as an advisor to and editor of the Lehrman Institute's thegoldstandardnow.org and senior advisor to the American Principles Project.

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