Reshared post from +Farhad Manjoo
I'm thinking about voting for Mitt Romney in 2012.
Not because I like Mitt Romney, but rather because I don't. And because it seems that the most effective way to prevent a party's policies from going into effect, these days, is to have that party control the White House.
I'm only half joking, and I'm only half meaning this as a criticism of Obama. This seems like a structural problem: Holding one half of Congress, rather than the White House, seems to be a more effective place from which to effect your policy goals.
Given the undemocratic nature of the Senate and gerrymandering in the House, we're virtually assured that however crazily extreme your party gets, you'll never get so unpopular that you'll get below the threshold of being able to shut down many vital functions of government. This is a pretty big stick — it means that when you're in the minority, you can demand whatever you want and not have to worry about losing anything. In practice Republicans are better at this game than Democrats, but there's no reason Democrats can't do this too.
I'm not saying the presidency isn't powerful. I'm saying a determined Congressional minority can be much more effective at demanding big things than can a determined president can be. It also seems we have to choose: No party, these days, is going to control all the levers of government for long. Either party has to decide whether it wants the White House or one (or two) branches of Congress. Given this choice, it seems like you can get a lot more of your big agenda items passed by being a hard-line minority than you can by holding the White House.
So if you're a liberal and you want liberal policies enacted, why not give up the White House and work from a position of strength? In other words, Liberals for Romney!
Tell me why this is wrong.
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