by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The latest print edition of National Review features David Harsanyi‘s “Happy Warrior” column explaining why a little congressional gridlock can generate positive results for the body politic.
When Speaker of the House John Boehner recently announced that he was going to sue the Obama administration for its lavish use of executive power, the president’s former political adviser David Axelrod posed a question worth pondering to this Twitter followers: “Shouldn’t it be taxpayers suing Congress for LACK of action, instead of Congress suing the President for doing too much?”
You can never do too much good, can you? Now, some people — granted, crazy people — might argue that obstructing harmful legislation is an action. And a rather constructive action, at that. These same people might also observe that Axelrod’s insinuation that “action” is to be venerated even if it bends the law or functions outside constitutional norms has an unnerving authoritarian ring to it. They may even reason that justifying unilateral action with infantile slogans like “We can’t wait!” or “It was the right thing to do” is not only in contention for World’s Most Vacuous Populist Rhetoric but creates a dangerous precedent for abuse of power. Even more dangerous than failing to pass the Lilly Ledbetter Act, if you can imagine such a future.