The Center for American Progress's Ian Millhiser takes inventory of American democracy as enumerated in the people's House and concludes that its 113th edition "bears no resemblance to the one America actually voted for." Millhiser isn't just rolling out the familiar lament that the privileged, booty-laden United States House of Representatives is unrepresentative of the Everyman's United States; he's saying we actually voted for one thing and got another--which is of course American Democracy's Republican Way. (One word. 2000.)
Dana Milbank takes stock as well:
House Republicans may be protected from the vicissitudes of the voters for the next decade. For Obama and the Democrats, this is an ominous development: The House Republican majority is durable, and it isn’t necessarily sensitive to political pressure and public opinion.
OK so we know the problem, which is only half as painfully mind-blowing as our asking the consequent question: What in hell do Obama and the Democrats do about it? And Milbank, I regret, answers both fatalistically and for too many: "Democrats need to recognize that the Republican House majority will respond only sluggishly to the usual levers of democracy." In sum, it is what it is, accept what you must, do what you can, little by little, some here and some there, just hold your breath and hope for the bloody best.
Well that, unquestionably, is one feasible strategy--a long, grueling one of compromise and coddle, of virtually perpetual agony, of congressional stalemates and unending gridlock, of extortionist threats of national ruin and vanishing ameliorations and rising despair.
Sound familiar? It should. For it's what we tried for nearly three-quarters of a century prior to the fascistic South's final psychotic break, and later Lincoln's Enough. Throughout our antebellum abomination we compromised all right. Oh, how we compromised. When we weren't concluding one compromise we were anticipating the next one. We just couldn't cater enough to the extortionists' peculiar notions of human liberty and cultural freedoms and national self-governance.
Care to try it again, President Obama?