Michael Gerson: Our dysfunctional Senate has lost its deliberative function

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  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    April 8, 2014 3:57 p.m.

    Hey SCFan -

    "So are you for or against Citizens United?"

    I am absolutely against it, as are all reasonable Americans.

    The Republicans went through a lot of trouble to undermine American Democracy to substitute plutocracy in its place. And yes, it would be funny, appropriate, ironic, and fitting if that plutocracy they worked so hard to achieve just turned around and bit them hard.
    That could happen.

    The trouble with myopic Republicans is that they have never been able to think beyond the short term.

    "Inconsistancy, like yours, is a hallmark of liberalism, . . . "

    Really? A hallmark huh? Got any other examples of Liberal inconsistency?

    And is concentrating on consistency really a virtue? Obviously, leadership must change to meet new realities. That's another problem with Republican leadership. It's forever backward looking, forever regressive, and never looking ahead to meet the needs existent with current and future realities.

    Do you really think the Koch brothers have exceeded the billions in charitable giving of the Gates foundation?

    Yet another problem with "Conservatives" . . . They're often out of touch with reality and make assertions with no basis at all in fact.

  • Demiurge San Diego, CA
    April 8, 2014 10:08 a.m.

    The Senate is most busy voting down the ridiculous things coming out of the Republican controlled House. Once the House gets back to the business they are supposed to be engaged in, the Senate can move on to other things.

    "He who invoked the nuclear option just because he refused to work with the other side and did not get his own way."

    No. That is clearly false. It was invoked because the Republicans were refusing to work on the nominations of anyone, basically grid-locking the functioning of the government. They were in effect trying to govern from the minority position. That is wrong.

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    April 8, 2014 9:50 a.m.

    Gary O

    So are you for or against Citizens United? You seem to imply that with liberal billionairs it would benefit the Democrat Party. Which way do you want it? Inconsistancy, like yours, is a hallmark of liberalism, and most Democrats. And, as Mohokat pointed out, you like to leave all the left wing billionairs influence out of these conversations about money in politics. Plus, I doubt many in this country could equal the Koch Brothers for charitable contributions, unless of course their name is Romney. Amazing that people like you and Harry Reid are so cynical that when a conservative is charitable they are bad people. Yet, rich people like Gore and Biden are found to give pocket change to charity. That is until they run for something.

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    April 8, 2014 9:39 a.m.

    Mr. Gerson doesn't seem to like the "populist" nature of the Senate today. The most "populist" thing the Senate has done in its entire history was the Democrats taking a two year Senator named Obama and actually pushing and believing this guy was ready for prime time big league politics as President of the United States. Unbelievably stupid, and we are now seeing the damage of that populist decision. Obama. Presidential timber? Please. Even NOW he doesn't have the experience to be President. OJT doesn't work in his case.

  • Brightenpath Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 8, 2014 12:41 a.m.

    "Assuming that either the left wing or the right wing gained control of the country, it would probably fly around in circles" -- Pat Paulsen

  • mohokat Ogden, UT
    April 7, 2014 7:29 p.m.

    @ Gary O

    What no comment on the liberal darling Georgie Boy Soros. You should do more homework before you spout liberal hate speech.

    Just a tiny bit of the Koch Brothers charitable giving. You need to research as there is one heck of a lot more that the Koch brothers do but that would diminish your Harry Reid like attacks.

    $100 million to NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital to help build the David H. Koch Center, a new ambulatory care center
    $20 million to Johns Hopkins University for the David H. Koch Cancer Research Center
    $30 million to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City
    $25 million to the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston for the David H. Koch Center for Applied Research of Genitourinary Cancers
    $15 million to New York-Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell Medical Center
    $25 million to The Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City
    $10 million to Jaffe Food Allergy Institute at the Mount Sinai Medical Center to create the David H. and Julia Koch Research Program in Food Allergy Therapeutics

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    April 7, 2014 2:52 p.m.

    Mohokat - It's going to be an interesting change when Gates and Buffet start kicking in a few billion every now and then to pragmatic and practical candidates (i.e, Democrats) who are ready and willing to promote the best interests of America and the world.

    That might make the Koch brothers and their relatively tiny bankrolls look somewhat insignificant.

    Gates and Buffet are very charitable people, but no charitable contribution can be more beneficial than influencing politics in a way that advances mankind now and in the future. . . And Republican policies absolutely do not do that.

  • Ajax Mapleton, UT
    April 7, 2014 8:55 a.m.

    The extreme right bellicosity and unwillingness to even consider the possibility of common ground is the bane of Islamic nations, the scourge of Israel and threatens the U.S. The left has it problems for sure, but nothing like the purposeful rejection of reason and common decency that we’re facing from the super right.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    April 7, 2014 8:53 a.m.

    Uh, the Senate passes stuff from time to time that is proactive. Let's talkl about the House. That place is an utter mess! What has the GOP House done in the past four years? Seriously, what have they done of any note?

  • mohokat Ogden, UT
    April 7, 2014 7:01 a.m.


    Koch brothers bad, George Sooros good? Is that what your saying. Sounds like a generous serving of hypocrisy

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 6, 2014 6:46 p.m.

    Look no further than Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

    He has been the embodiment of the hardball, no holds barred, win at any costs, truth doe not matter, partisanship over deliberation approach which directly reflect the "Chicago way" employed by his boss.

    Meanwhile, this ostensibly humble person from crossroads Searchlight, Nevada has become a millionaire while in a series of political jobs which do not pay all that well. That alone is a highly visible tribute to his skills, but not necessarily his ethics.

    Between the destruction wrought by the President and Senator Reid, our country may never recover.

    Meanwhile, we might as what has our senior Senator done to promote comity, or prevent dictatorship in that body?

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    April 6, 2014 2:52 p.m.

    Are you suggesting that the senate runs vastly different from the house?

    Both are dysfunctional.

    We are heading off a cliff. The dems say turn right and the reps say turn left. Because they cant agree, we the same heading, knowing full well that their is a cliff ahead.

    And, amazingly enough, that makes sense to a lot of people.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    April 6, 2014 2:23 p.m.

    “The Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, D-Nev. . . pursues an unhinged vendetta against the Koch brothers, private citizens engaged in lawful political activity?” Uh . . . no.

    In more accurate terms, Harry Reid is making transparent the otherwise surreptitious activities of plutocrats who influence public policy by buying the loyalty of politicians. Yes, some of what the Koch brothers do may even be legal, but it is hardly ethical. Exposing Machiavellian behavior is certainly no “unhinged vendetta.” It is responsible public service. Thank you Harry Reid.

    The mockery that main stream Republican politicians routinely make of politics now and their joyous romp into mudslinging and their habit of inventing “facts” to support other “facts” is an outgrowth of Right Wing Radio’s popularity and it’s complete disregard for any kind of journalistic integrity.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    April 6, 2014 8:09 a.m.

    What do expect when the senate majority leader is a dictatorial, obstructionist, arrogant, hard-core political ideologue? He who invoked the nuclear option just because he refused to work with the other side and did not get his own way.

    Yeah, some of these issues existed before, but not to the extent they have under harry's reign of terror.