Elected Dysfunction: The Impotence of the United States Government


The absolute impotence and the dysfunction of the United States government’s elected officials during the term of the current administration has placed the country in chaos. Massive issues that continue to plague the nation, include but are by no means limited to: the unresolved scandals involving the IRS allegedly targeting conservative and pro-Israel groups; the related Lois Lerner missing e-mails; the Justice Department’s illegal seizure of Associated Press phone records; the ATF “Fast and Furious” operation that cost the life of an ATF special agent and the terrorist attack against the American Consulate in Benghazi and related cover up. Further, there is the nationwide Veterans Affairs corruption that cost the lives of dozens of veterans and the cover up that followed; the unilateral amending of existing laws by President Obama by-passing the Congress whenever it suits him, and the CIA steadfast denial and recent admission that they spied on senate investigators.

The U.S. government is in disarray with a president who is using a gridlocked congress as an excuse to go rogue and boldly admitting outright to the American people, that since the congress will not act, he will. The record shows indeed that President Obama has done exactly that with his mighty pen and cell-phone which has subsequently resulted in the initiation of a law suit being brought against him by Speaker of the House, John Boehner. The suit argues that the president has exercised an over-reach of his authority by-passing a duly elected, albeit dysfunctional, congress, and usurping the Constitution’s separation of powers of the three branches of government. Impeachment is also being more frequently discussed as a means to curtail Obama’s power grab.

As further evidence of the turmoil, the nation is under siege at its southern border with a literal hemorrhage of illegal border crossings by unaccompanied children and others by the tens of thousands who are gaming the incompetence of government and the lack of border protection resources; all while the congress is just about ready to go on their summer vacation. Cable news reports that many in congress had already left Capitol Hill to catch flights back to their home states but were called back due to the possibility of conducting a vote to address the border crisis.

The idea that congress would even dream of leaving for a five-week vacation while the nation continued to be looted, in and of itself, reeks of shame and disgrace. Nonetheless, in the nick of time, American citizens can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that their representatives have so generously returned to Washington D.C. in an attempt to strike a deal and cast an eleventh-hour vote. However, this last-minute measure could not possibly be anything other than some half-baked slip-shod Band-Aid resolution to a decades-long national crises that demands nothing short of brain-transplant surgery. Does congress actually believe the American people are going to buy the idea that they put their “well-deserved” (tongue-in-cheek) vacations on hold and made some monumental selfless sacrifice for the American people in order to create a miraculous piece of legislation that will solve the nation’s immigration problems on the eve of their recess? It is currently too early to know if the congress actually reached agreement on a resolution.

With mid-term elections approaching in November, voters will be reminded of the systemic ineptitude of their representatives, but whether it makes any difference in the outcome of elections remains to be seen. Rarely, if ever before, have the American people been cheated and deceived so outrageously by the very people elected to public office and entrusted with the responsibility to administer and protect them, as they have with this irresponsible governing body. However, to some political science scholars, it is viewed as problematic that in spite of the exposed scandals of the Obama administration and the impotence caused by the allegory of U.S. governmental elected dysfunction, there remains a force in place that astonishingly defends this behavior.

During the widely broadcast Super Bowl Sunday interview of the president by television host Bill O’Reilly, President Obama reported to the nation’s viewers that there was not a “smidgen of corruption” in the IRS when asked about the agency’s alleged targeting of conservative groups. The commentary that followed criticized the president for making that premature determination, especially at a time when the investigation into those allegations was ongoing and had reached no such conclusion.

One can find any number of YouTube videos of President Obama dismissing all notions of any wrong-doing whatsoever by his administration with the wave of his hand claiming they are nothing more than “phony scandals” created by partisan hacks who disagree with his policies. Then he receives support from left-wing media allies who routinely belittle and mock the GOP and conservatives calling them “crazies” for daring to challenge and question the president’s actions. Although, in fairness, a few liberal pundits, like MSNBC’s Ed Schultz, who now questions Obama’s Executive Order on immigration, have softened somewhat in their staunch defense of Obama on some issues, albeit not much. Nonetheless, this dysfunctional government’s elected officials have much to be concerned about because the citizenry will only tolerate so much incompetence.

Obama receives continued support from the mainstream media with under exposure, giving him only a fraction of the coverage that it gave to President Nixon’s Watergate scandal during the early 1970s. Yet, political historians point out that Watergate pales profoundly in comparison to more than just one scandal occurring during the Obama presidency.

Public opinion of this congress is at an all-time low. As for the president, the American people elected him twice. Yet it is fair to make the claim that voters did not expect to have to endure the president’s blatant, in-your-face lies, his failure to faithfully execute the law in accordance with his Constitutional responsibility, his repeated violation of the Constitutional separation of powers, his failure to lead and unite the government in bi-partisanship, and his failure to unite America by bringing its citizens closer together, but instead causing greater polarization. The aforementioned represent only a partial and growing list of examples of the disrespect Obama has for the office of the presidency and for the American people.

In order to grasp the big picture of the ongoing deterioration of the United States, one must look at it from a 10,000 foot view to be able to comprehend where exactly the nation is heading. The government is not only fiscally broke, but it is also broke in the functional sense. It is not working and there is no leadership at the top capable of bringing all parties together to fix it. Exacerbating the problem of government itself, are the complex domestic and global crises that it faces on a daily basis requiring competent and responsible leadership to address, not the least of which is the invasion at its southern border. This critically important leadership appears to be conspicuously absent and Americans are left, not surprisingly, feeling confused and insecure.

The view of America from 10,000 feet is not pretty and while it struggles within itself and becomes continually weaker, she also becomes vulnerable. Internationally, the now diluted foreign policies of the United States have caused America’s allies to question how strongly America is in her committment to support them. One must then be concerned about the grave consequences of a weakened America and what allied support she would have in a worst case scenario.

Americans are getting angry and it is becoming increasingly evident with each new emerging poll showing the country’s subterranean-like approval ratings of the job being done by congress and the plummeting poll numbers of the president. If one were to rationally examine the government’s elected dysfunction and the resulting impotence of the United States, they might conclude it is caused by the government no longer being representative of the will of the people. One might ask if this a clear example of what happens when the tail tries to wag the dog and further, what will it take for the will of the people to be respected once again?

Opinion by Mark Politi

Washington Post
The National Review
FOX News
The White House Dossier

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