Once you understand public choice theory, watching politics unfold becomes less of a frustration and more a source of amusement.
I just heard President Obama lay out his near term agenda. He was elected by a decent majority and will fight for the issues for which he campaigned. The people have spoken, and the people want a Democratic agenda implemented.
But the House of Representatives was also just elected. It is firmly Republican. The people have spoken, and the people want a Republican agenda implemented.
Same voters. Two conflicting agendas.
Some pundits say that voters want compromise. I don’t understand how you compromise between raising taxes and lowering taxes, for example.
I can only conclude that what voters actually favor is gridlock. This restrains both Democrats and Republicans and preserves the status quo. The last several presidents, when given a compliant Congress, have moved the country in unhappy directions. Gridlock forces politicians to take a “timeout” and allows only actions which are broadly acceptable to voters.
Don’t expect a lot to happen in a gridlocked political system – the public has spoken and inaction seems to be our preference as a nation.