Metropolitik: Why voting third-party isn’t a waste

George W. Bush experienced the systemic flaws of the two-party system in 2004, when he decided to pursue a previously bipartisan issue, space. Says professor Frances Lee, according to Ezra Klein: “Democrats had no position on sending a mission to Mars. [But] they suddenly began to develop one:?They began to believe it was a waste of money.

While the GOP?circus fought for the honor of representing  Puerto Rico as “El Presidente,” we wanted to focus on some scholarly journalistic discussion that sheds some light — though, in our opinion, not enough — on the inherent failures of U.S. party politics.

Washington Post political correspondent Ezra Klein shook up the erudite politisphere last week when, in an essay for The New Yorker and then in a reprise during guest-hosting duties on MSNBC’s “Up With Chris Hayes”, he put forth the mysteriously uncommon yet surprisingly obvious assertion that presidential speechifying can actually have a net negative effect on  administration success, as opposition politicians are actually heavily incentivized to ensure the failure of their across-the-aisle rivals.

Klein sought to dispute the historical wisdom that “the power of the president is the power to persuade,” arguing that grand speeches from the executive actually do his platform a disservice, since the other party cannot reasonably be expected to offer “bipartisan” support to a group of people whose successes inversely affect their own re-elections. The bigger deal a president makes of any one issue — witness, in recent months, Obama’s failed pursuit of the American Jobs Act; or, in years past, President Bush’s colossal efforts and, ultimately, failure at privatizing Social Security — the more vigorously opposition lawmakers are encouraged to oppose it. In this polarized environment, policy wins for one party can be directly interpreted as failures for the other; so pols stymie the efforts of their rivals regardless of any potential benefits.

Klein pays particular attention to the way in which a president’s message can backfire, as opposition figures are put in the clear position of 1: supporting their rivals and, thereby, losing; or 2: torpedoing rival legislation and improving their own political futures. But we think this analysis, while certainly interesting, misses the wider implications: that U.S. politicians personally benefit from weakening America, when to help the country would mean also helping party rivals and hurting themselves.

The two-party system has many flaws, but none quite so damning as this: Americans suffer as a direct result of the petty machinations of our two grand political parties. This is how, under Obama, Republicans have suddenly reversed their beliefs on, for instance, the insurance mandate in health care, originally developed by right-wing think tanks and backed by all manner of establishment R’s: To support it would mean supporting the president, so they thought up reasons to dislike it. And similar things happened with cowardly Democrats under Bush.

So long as we vote for D’s and R’s, we suffer. Because no matter which party wins, Americans inevitably lose.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Best nature spots for kids in New York…

When it comes to kids and nature, most U.S. parents agree: children should be spending more time outdoors. According to a recent survey by The…

Local

Easter 2014: The year's best bonnets

It's Easter, and that means it's time for Fifth Avenue to turn into a veritable catwalk of bonnet-wearers. The annual march, which kicks off at…

Local

Woman arrested for attempted kidnapping of baby in…

Authorities said that a Queens woman behind an attempted kidnapping of an 8-month-old baby boy was arrested on Saturday.

Local

Hate crime charge in attack on Sikh Columbia…

A man has been arrested and charged with a hate crime after he allegedly pulled the beard of a Sikh Columbia University professor as part…

Television

‘Mad Men’ recap: Season 7, Episode 2, ‘A…

Peggy and Lou are horrible, Bert's racist, Don is honest(ish) and Roger and Pete are frustrated. "A Day's Work" not quite worthy of "This Will Be Our Year."

Television

'Game of Thrones' recap: Season 4, Episode 3,…

The problem with the devil you know is that ignoring them doesn’t mean they simply lie in wait. It allows them time to do things…

Television

Discovery cancels 'Everest Jump Live' special in wake…

The Discovery Channel has indicated it will not be moving forward with "Everest Jump Live," a planned special about mountain climber Joby Ogwyn's effort to…

The Word

'X-Men' director Bryan Singer drama continues

  News broke late last week that "X-Men" and "The Usual Suspects" director Bryan Singer is being sued by a man who said Singer molested…

NHL

Rangers let chance at victory slip away in…

All the Rangers had to do was hold serve in a raucous Madison Square Garden — roaring in anticipation of putting a hated rival in a 2-0 series hole.

MLB

Yankees place Ivan Nova on DL with partially…

Yankees starter Ivan Nova was diagnosed with a partially torn UCL in his throwing elbow Sunday.

NHL

Rangers never thought opening round would be 'an…

You might have thought the Metropolitan Division semifinal series was going to be a rout after watching Game 1 Thursday night. The Rangers did not.

NHL

Rangers blow two-goal lead in Game 2 loss…

The Rangers got out to an early 2-0 lead in Game 2 and the Garden was rocking. But it went downhill quickly from there.

Travel

Packing: The one thing you need in your…

A new survey that looks at the travel habits of 50,000 people around the world has revealed that Western and Asian globetrotters have different priorities…

Home

Is your chair making it hard to talk?

Ever wished there was an office chair that could make impromptu meetings and discussions more private? The Cristiana Wing Chair is an asymmetrical armchair which…

Travel

Live large at these luxury hotels

From Thai boxing lessons and macabre Dracula tours to the Australian Outback, the Four Seasons hotel chain launched a series of new travel packages this…

Parenting

4 things that every summer camp should have

Alan Saltz, director of the 92nd street Y program lists things that every summer camp should have.