‘Why We Can’t Build’

Ezra Klein, writing at Vox, on Marc Andreessen’s “It’s Time to Build” call to arms:

Which goes to a problem that afflicts governance at all levels of America: If you live in a vetocracy and one of your two political parties actively wants the government to work poorly, the government will work poorly. And so it does. […]

I don’t think that’ll be enough. So let me end with my answer to Andreessen’s question: What should we build? We should build institutions biased toward action and ambition, rather than inaction and incrementalism. […] At the federal level, I’d get rid of the filibuster, simplify the committee system, democratize elections, and make sure majorities could implement their agendas once elected. As I’ve argued for years, we should prefer the problems of a system where elected majorities can fulfill the promises that got them elected to one where elected majorities cannot deliver on the promises that the American people voted for. The latter system, which is the one Americans live in now, drives frustration and dysfunction.

Strong endorsement for this basic notion from me — knowing full well that political tides ebb and flow. Let the party in power try new things. If they turn out to be unpopular, the tide will change and so too will the laws and policies. Conduct politics more like we do science: try new ideas and see what happens. The Senate has been slowly moving away from the filibuster in favor of simple majority rule anyway — e.g. Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court.

Friday, 24 April 2020