November 4th, 2012
12:29 PM ET

U.S. risks crashing off the cliff

By Fareed Zakaria

The American political system is simply not working. The parties have become too polarized; institutions and traditions of governance, like the filibuster, have been abused to create permanent gridlock. It's tempting to pretend that this has always been a part of the country's raucous democracy and that both parties are to blame. But that's just not true. Consider these facts. Over the past five years, Republicans in the Senate have threatened or used a filibuster 385 times. That's almost double the rate of the preceding five years and much more than the historic average.

Would Obama or Romney be better at breaking this deadlock? Each side makes its arguments. Obama has recently said that his re-election would "break the fever" and force Republicans to the table. Romney partisans quietly admit that the Republican Party will have to accept higher taxes, but they claim only one of its own can take them there.

Watch the video for the full take.

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Topics: 2012 Election

soundoff (336 Responses)
  1. mmi16

    The re-election of Obama takes the wind out of the sails of the GOP's position. Whether they realize it or not remains to be scene. The election rejected the GOP's Tea Party stance, quite forecefully.

    November 8, 2012 at 4:18 am | Reply
    • notraitors

      And when we do go over the fiscal cliff, who will the left blame then?

      November 8, 2012 at 8:45 am | Reply
    • humtake

      That makes no sense whatsoever. The GOP retained the House, the Dems retained the Senate, and Obama won by only a few million votes (50%-48% last I checked). The only message this has sent is that the country is still just as divided on which party should rule.

      November 8, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Reply
  2. notraitors

    We need to go over the cliff. That's the only way we'll learn.

    November 8, 2012 at 8:44 am | Reply
  3. American

    I hope we do fall off the cliff, then we will see how these "sharp financial minds" of the Democrats get us out the spending mess that they have gotten us into.

    November 8, 2012 at 9:33 am | Reply
  4. palintwit

    Obama gets 4 more years. Sarah Palin's head explodes. Karl Rove hangs himself and teabaggers everywhere are stringing more barbed wire around their trailers. Bwahahahahahhahhahahahahahah !!!!

    November 8, 2012 at 9:43 am | Reply
    • notraitors

      Nice to see you don't have to have George Soros do all your thinking for you.

      Just think, if Romney had won the 'hood would be in flames

      November 8, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Reply
      • trigtwit palin... America's favorite tard baby


        November 8, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
  5. humtake

    Sigh...this is why getting kids involved in politics is such a bad thing. You should have to be over 30 to vote. Kids get into politics thinking everything is new. Yet, every 4 years we go through the SAME thing. The party not in office tries to block everything the party in office tries. The word filibuster became a household word AGAIN back in the early 2000s when the Dems were the ones doing it way too much.

    Welcome to Politics 101 kids. The party in power blames the party not in power for all of our problems. The party not in power refuses to work well with the party in power. Come back in 4 years, we can all post our same exact comments and I guarantee you they will still be relevant.

    November 8, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Reply
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