Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Get prepared for four party super gridlock

The voters have spoken and may have made a real mess of things.  For at least the next two years we will have not two but what will amount to four warring parties in Congress.  In addition to mainstream Democrats and Republicans, we are going to have a small contingent of Tea Party newbies on the far right and a small contingent of Progressive Democrats on the left.  Mainstream Democrats will fight with mainstream Republicans, Tea Party newbies and Progressive Democrats.  Mainstream Republicans will fight with mainstream Democrats, Progressive Democrats and Tea Party newbies.  The Tea Party newcomers will fight with mainstream Republicans, mainstream Democrats and Progressive Democrats.  Progressive Democrats will fight with mainstream Democrats, Republicans and Tea Party newbies.  Fur will fly all over the ideological map and nothing whatsoever will get done because no group will be able to muster a majority much less a supermajority to push legislation through the senate.

Prepare for four party super gridlock for two years at least.  What a mess. I wish there were a short term way out of this but that would take some true leadership and I don't see anyone from the President on down who is likely to step up to the challenge.

Long term I think Progressives can have greater success if they heed lessons from some major progressive legislative accomplishments in the past such as the passage of the Food and Drug Act, Medicare, and Civil Rights legislation.  I've been doing a lot of research about that. I'll have more to say about that topic in a new book I'm just finishing entitled Getting Things Done in Washington.  Look for it.  It should be sometime next year.

In the mean time, as Betty Davis might say fasten your seat belts it going to be a bumpy ride.

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