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Stating the bleeding obvious and all that, but it's still a little depressing
The US has three branches of government, of which the executive branch is by far the most visible, but not really any more powerful than the other two. Obama alone doesn't have the power to change everything. And the views of Democrats span a wider spectrum than Republicans, who tend to just vote in lockstep when they're in power.
The senate is the real obstacle to overt change because its composition is so disproportional to the US as a whole. Every state has two senators regardless of size, meaning senators from small states that perhaps have niche concerns or populations more homogenous than the country as a whole can present obstacles to passing progressive legislation. The ramifications of this are pretty clear in the health care debate at the mo – the 6 senators at the centre of the constructing the finance bill were from states like Maine, Montana and Iowa and in total all 6 represented a grand total of something like 2% of the entire population – by comparison, at one stage after Ted Kennedy died New York and Massachussets, which combined are about 10 times larger than those states, had only 3 senators.
as a result of the political system.
Younge makes a good point about the power of lobbyists in the American system- this goes beyond party politics as it affects the voting of both parties in both house and senate.
It seems so against the ideas of good government