To the editor:
There was a time when the conventional wisdom was that divided government was a good thing. A president of one party needed to be balanced by a legislature of the opposite party. But times have changed and the idea of balance has been replaced by the desire for destruction.
Divided government worked when there were moderates in the legislature, compromise was not a dirty word and a willingness to cooperate did not get you a right wing primary challenge. Certain government traditions were also non-partisan: the farm and transportation bills, public safety initiatives, NASA funding. Is there anything left that can gain consensus?
The political environment has changed so severely that what worked before does not work anymore. The stated goal of Republicans to obstruct, destroy and delegitimize government is financially inefficient, operationally ineffective but politically successful.
Replacing a shared effort to make government work for everyone’s benefit with a strategy to throw a monkey wrench into the gears is a perverse idea. Even more vicious when the villains claim, “we told you government doesn’t work.”
The idea that a divided government acts as a governor on the plans of the president has been replaced with the reality of a seized engine. America deserves better. Throw out the Republican saboteurs in 2014.