Why Congress Deserves an “A”
Don’t blame Congress for not passing laws. It’s designed that way.
Posted Wednesday, July 27, 2011, at 5:16 PM ET
Stroll around Washington, D.C., this summer, and you will see hordes of tourists thronging the national Mall. Parents ask their kids, “What’s the role of Congress?” And the teenagers respond, “The purpose of Congress is to pass laws.”
Most people who hear that nowadays feel an urge to laugh. Sure, that’s the purpose of Congress, but that isn’t what Congress actually does. Congress in theory is decisive, but Congress in practice is dysfunctional. If Congress were a student and its handling of the debt-ceiling crisis were an exam, it would get an F, if not expulsion or a referral to the juvenile justice system.
But what if the civics-textbook definition of Congress is wrong? What if Congress is working precisely as designed?
Read the full story here: Slate Magazine