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.
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