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May 15, 2008

In praise of gridlock

By way of Samizdata, some political wisdom from a man who calls himself "not just stupid", but a "student of stupidity": P.J. O'Rourke:

It occurs to me that America could wind up with a Democratic president. This scares me. Not because I hate Democrats — although I do, come to think of it — but because a strong Democratic president and a strong Democratic Congress could put an end to partisan bickering in Washington and result in politicians from both parties working together to solve America's problems. And then we're really screwed.

I have been covering politics for 38 years. Trust me: we don't want politics to quit. That's why we need a Republican president — not because Republicans are good but because we need gridlock. I love gridlock. Gridlock means government can't do things.

The two most frightening words in Washington are "bipartisan consensus." Bipartisan consensus is when my doctor and my lawyer agree with my wife that I need help.

Bipartisan consensus — like the stimulus package that has been delivered to us courtesy of Congress and the president. A $168 billion stimulus package that is supposed to change the trajectory of a $13 trillion economy.

Now, even somebody who flunked high school physics — and I did — can tell you that the energy of $168 billion is not sufficient to budge $13 trillion worth of inertia. It's like trying to use Dennis Kucinich to push Hillary Clinton off the Democratic campaign platform.

Much more here (PDF document).

Posted by Nicholas at May 15, 2008 09:09 AM

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