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
National

Dogs are capable of feeling jealousy - U.S.…

By Curtis Skinner(Reuters) - Dogs are a man's best friend, and research released on Wednesday says canines want to keep it that way.Dogs are capable…

Local

G train riders brace for five-week shutdown

G train service will be suspended between Brooklyn and Queens between Friday, July 25, and Tuesday, Sept. 2.

International

Peaches Geldof's death was drugs-related, coroner rules

LONDON (Reuters) - The death of Peaches Geldof, the daughter of musician and Band Aid founder Bob Geldof, was drugs-related, a coroner ruled on Wednesday.The…

Local

Family, supporters gather in Brooklyn for Eric Garner…

Family members gathered on Wednesday for the funeral of Eric Garner, who died shortly after police put him in a banned chokehold as they arrested him.

Going Out

5 must-try dishes at Edible Manhattan's Good Beer

Rooting out the exotic amid the New York City bar scene is noble quest. But if you’d like to have it all come to you,…

Books

Art imitates life (almost) in David Shapiro's new…

David Shapiro talks about his book, "You're Not Much Use To Anyone."

Movies

Dakota Fanning's indie growing pains on 'Very Good…

Dakota Fanning on her latest "Very Good Girls."

Entertainment

Britney Spears launches new lingerie line and fans…

Women everywhere can say that they are not that innocent when Britney Spears launches her new lingerie and loungewear line. “Every woman should feel confident…

MLB

Brandon McCarthy finds his calling on Twitter

Yankees starter Brandon McCarthy joined Twitter three year ago for the same reason many people do: to get news quickly.

Sports

NBA great LeBron James sends 800 cupcake apologies…

By Kim PalmerCLEVELAND (Reuters) - NBA star LeBron James, whose recent return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio sparked a frenzy…

NFL

Fantasy football: Johnny Manziel could give your running…

Fantasy football: Johnny Manziel could give your running game a boost

NFL

3 storylines to watch as Jets open training…

Jets head coach Rex Ryan might be in for an even tougher job in 2014 after arguably his best coaching job last season.

Food

Recharge with a post-workout smoothie from Nicky Hilton

Some people can roll out of bed right as their alarm goes off. And that alarm isn’t set for 20 minutes before they have to…

Education

Colleges are increasingly embracing the concept of gender-neutral…

  Northwestern University recently made headlines after announcing that it would be installing two gender-neutral bathrooms in the university's student center. “These are two gender-open…

Career

How to prepare to interview for your dream…

    Congratulations! You landed a job interview at your dream company! A lot of hard work has gone into determining which companies to apply…

Style

The shirtdress is a summer must-have

  We love throwing on our boyfriend’s shirt and a pair of jeans (no matter how much he grumbles that it’s his turn to wear the…