In praise of dysfunction

By Tom Quiner

The word disfunction suggests something isn’t working properly.

A dysfunctional relationship is one with problems.

S & P just downgraded America’s credit rating, justifying it by characterizing our political system as being “dysfunctional.”

Along those lines, Massachusetts Senator, John Kerry, characterized the credit downgrade as a “Tea Party downgrade.”

The Senator blames the Tea Party for all of our problems.

Even more, the Senator chastised the media for giving too much coverage to the Tea Party and “advised” them to limit future media coverage.

In other words, the Tea Party is the source of our dysfunction.

Is this a logical appraisal of our situation? After all, the President, we are told, was prepared to accept $3 Trillion in reduced spending on our entitlements in exchange for $1 Trillion in new taxes.

Chew on that for a moment.

The president accepted the rationale’ of spending restraint on entitlements. The Tea Party premise that a moderation in entitlement spending was a core piece of improving our credit-worthiness seemed acceptable to the president.

But they disagreed on the necessity of more tax increases.

So the Tea Party’s clout, given voice by the electorate in November of 2010, moderated the president’s tax and spend instincts, exactly as voters were demanding.

This is dysfunction?

This is democracy in action.

Let’s face it, the electorate feels betrayed by the president and his party. No … a more accurate word be conned.

The electorate feels conned by Mr. Obama and his party.

When they voted for “hope and change,” they didn’t realize they were about to have a European-style solution imposed on them.

Nationalized healthcare with legal language (language that stubbornly refused to exclude abortion coverage) no one would understand until it was passed and dissected by bureaucrats wasn’t what they wanted.

And the polls showed it then … and now.

Frenetic government spending isn’t what they wanted. And the polls show it.

Mandatory birth-control coverage, imposed by Presidential edict, isn’t what they wanted.

This broken economy and protracted hopelessness by working class Americans seeking employment isn’t what they wanted. And the polls show us.

We’ve been conned.

Fortunately, our dysfunctional system, grounded as it is in democratic principles, allows America to make course corrections.

The debt-ceiling vote was one very small step toward fiscal sanity. The next step is to elect a Republican majority in the Senate that is willing to actually present a principled budget to Americans, something Democrats have refused to do for 840 days.

Doesn’t that seem sort of dysfunctional … to refuse to present a budget to Americans when Senate rules require it?

It seems to me that the only thing dysfunctional in this picture is the Democratic Party.

For the record, I am more than happy to castigate Republicans for ratcheting up spending during the Bush years, years in which Democrats frequently voted against raising the debt ceiling, by the way. But the beauty of our dysfunctional system is that we threw the bums out. America works that way,

The voters did the same to the Democrats in 2010.

Thank God for the Tea Party. They are keeping our politicians accountable.

Nothing dysfunctional about that.



  1. Ben Hoffman on August 9, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    Teabaggers are idiots.

    • quinersdiner on August 9, 2011 at 8:31 pm

      Can you be more expressive?

    • Concerned Onlooker on August 10, 2011 at 5:24 am

      That’s about as strong of an argument as I would expect from a democrat.

  2. Ben Hoffman on August 10, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    They smell bad, too.