Regardless of who wins, this is a really frightening election in a really frightening time.
The problems we face and the issues with which we are confronted are existential in nature.
“The reason this is such a frightening election is that the Constitution’s mechanisms for reining in or ousting a rogue president are in tatters.
We are not supposed to have transformative elections, contests that will forever change our system of government or enable government to orchestrate cultural upheaval. The Constitution is supposed to be our guarantee against that.”
The Problem Is Not the Presidential Candidates
FROM PJ MEDIA: BY ANDREW C. MCCARTHY, OCTOBER 17, 2016
. . . . . . .
This is why our system no longer works. The Congress is AWOL: an increasingly irrelevant institution that: (a) does not see itself (either individually or collectively) as obliged to defend the Constitution; (b) delegates its legislative tasks to the sprawling bureaucracy, over which the president has far more influence; (c) punts tough calls to the judiciary, simultaneously refusing to exploit its constitutional authority over the courts’ jurisdiction in order to prevent or reverse judicial imperialism; and (d) is incompetent to perform basic tasks, such as imposing “regular order” on the appropriations process and compelling presidents to submit international agreements to the Constitution’s treaty process.
The power of the purse is now a toothless check. In the last century, the federal government’s most basic role has been transitioned from national security to social welfare, wealth redistribution, and economic regulation (including transfer payments to industries and research institutions based on political favoritism, not market forces). Congress is paralyzed by fear that any cutting off of funds will be portrayed as a denial of someone’s entitlement or other transfer payments.
Furthermore, with the appropriations process having collapsed, the government operates under huge “omnibus” spending acts and “continuing resolutions.” This transforms budget battles into ludicrously high-stakes affairs, in which attempts to force government to live within its means – means that are far greater than they have ever been – become shutdown showdowns. This itself is an extension of another dysfunction: Congress no longer reads the laws it writes, or even perceives that dereliction as a dereliction. Single $4 trillion budget resolutions of hundreds of inscrutable pages that no one could conceivably read are now standard fare. Lots of critical legislation is now that way.