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Why Republicans will continue to struggle to govern

The Republican Congress is having a really hard time getting its majority to actually pass legislation. Why? It is almost facile to note that since Republicans don’t really believe in governance, they are unlikely to try to get good at it. But there is something deeper going on, too, and it has to do with the nature of democracy. A Democracy consists of diverse interest groups who all want slightly different things. Legislating under these conditions works best when people get together and all give a little and get a little. It is messy, nobody “wins” (at least, not outright) and the key attitude that gets things done is a willingness to compromise. Recent polls of Republican voters show that over 80% feel that compromise is always bad. Less than 30% of registered Democrats feel that way. Well if a super-majority of your side despises the very tool that gets stuff done, you are going to have a tough time getting anything done. Relentless refusal to compromise looks effective when employed by a minority to block everything. But it is a major impediment to getting anything done when your party has a majority. Because then the inter-party differences become deal-breakers. Witness the Tea Party “Freedom Caucus” attacking Ryan almost as much as they attacked Pelosi. It is a minority relentlessly refusing to compromise – with it’s own moderate wing. It will be fun to watch where this goes…

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