A congressman and his constituent were walking in the woods when they came upon a metaphorical bear...Click on the above to read the whole thing. Brian J. Noggle has encapsulated the entire problem in a nutshell.
We need mandatory expiration dates. Or a House of Repeal. Something.
Just this morning, sometime conservative Charles Krauthammer inadvertently put his finger on it (or his foot in it) in his column "Hail the change of chiefs":
True, the rotation of power inevitably results in stops and starts and policy zigzags. Yet for all its inefficiency, it in the end creates a near miraculous social stability by setting down layers of legitimacy every time the opposition adopts some of its predecessor's reforms -- while at the same time allowing challenges to fundamental assumptions before they become fossilized.No, you thimble-headed gherkin! That is exactly the problem! Look, I understand how a GOP loyalist like yourself is all sad right now, and you're thinking that when life gives you lemons, you should try and make lemonade, but when life hands you turds, you don't sit down to a steaming bowl of dog crap soup with a smile on your face, okay?
The Republicans come to power by railing against the excesses of the Democrats. Then when they get in, they let the status quo remain ante rather than risk upsetting any applecarts. In turn they create their own excesses, which the Democrats rail about to get themselves elected, but then never repeal, instead letting the status... Are you getting the 'lather, rinse, repeat' picture here?
It's government by sedimentation, each new election cycle depositing a fresh layer of laws to be upheld and bureaucratic fiefdoms to be protected atop the structure already existing. Unless someone brings a dredge through, this river's going to silt up completely.
This isn't a pendulum, it's a ratchet, and it's going to continue getting tighter 'til something gives.