February 14th, 2014
11:56 AM ET

The party of gridlock

By Fareed Zakaria

I have been described as a centrist. And I freely admit to believing that neither side of the political spectrum has a monopoly on wisdom or virtue. But sometimes, reality points firmly in one direction. Watching the machinations in Washington over the last two weeks, it is now impossible to talk about how both political parties are to blame for the country’s gridlock.

Consider what just happened on immigration, an issue ripe for resolution. A majority of Americans support granting citizenship to illegal immigrants — by 81 percent in the most recent CNN poll — as well as enhanced border controls. The leadership of the Republican Party in Congress talked about a comprehensive reform package that would create a lengthy waiting time for citizenship — 13 years — and couple this with tougher enforcement. Most Democrats were willing to accept this compromise.

But it became clear to the Republican leadership that even this would be unacceptable for many tea party Republicans.

Read the Washington Post column


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Topics: Immigration

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soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. chrissy

    Agree with you on this. The tea party wont be happy with ANYTHING! They thrive on conflicts and the more drama the better they like it!

    February 14, 2014 at 2:57 pm |
    • Joseph McCarthy

      Actually chrissy, the Tea Party Movement is the American equivalent of the German Nazi Party of the 1930's. Moreover, we need to just ditch both the right-wing Democrats and the extreme right-wing Republicans and restart the Progressive Party founded by Theodore Roosevelt in 1912. That was the Party of Robert La Follette when he ran for President in 1924 but lost.

      February 14, 2014 at 6:05 pm |
      • Mark Rushing

        Very well said, Joseph. Yes, Robert La Follette would have made a very good President back in the 1920's. How right you are about both the Republicans and Democrats being right-wingers since it's politically "correct" to be that way! This is the very reason that the Tea Partiers are flourishing in America these days.

        February 15, 2014 at 7:33 pm |
  2. JAL

    Great article.

    February 14, 2014 at 4:52 pm |
    • JOhn

      I disagree with Chrissy.

      Fareed, I assumed you meant Obama when you asked who was responsible for blocking Immigration. I'm not with the Tea Party, butI don't trust the President or his cabinet to enforce anything except ObamaCare. The Senate bill allowed Napalitono/replacement head to decide if the border was secure. She said in 20010 it was secure. Ha

      February 16, 2014 at 5:01 pm |
  3. chrissy

    Go back a 100 years? Its gonna be hard to get people to agree to that dont ya think?

    February 14, 2014 at 6:39 pm |
    • Mark Rushing

      That's because most Americans don't know their history, chrissy, let alone that of the rest of the world. This is why they keep voting the wrong people back into office!

      February 15, 2014 at 7:36 pm |
      • thomas

        Absolutely... with the election of Obama

        February 16, 2014 at 7:28 am |
  4. simbahash

    Residing overseas I have to state I thoroughly enjoy the actions of this Tea Party people. For us to proper and develop freely we need USA 's influence to reduce . We cannot achieve this target from outside and are happy with our allies within the US

    February 15, 2014 at 12:43 am |
  5. j. von hettlingen

    John Boehner said his party has almost ruled out passing immigration legislation before November's midterm elections. He also doubted if the administration could be trusted to implement the reform and referred to Obama's public pledges to use his executive authority to bypass a gridlocked, highly partisan Congress. Indeed Obama himself has made immigration a top domestic priority.

    February 15, 2014 at 12:09 pm |
  6. chrissy

    Too true @ Mark. Even though getting information to educate yourself on the candidates, is so much easier now than in past years! Add to that the fact that many people dont even bother to vote. And i agree with Joseph McCarthy, if its not working get rid of it and go with the tried and true! But as i stated earlier, it will be very hard to get people to agree to it.

    February 15, 2014 at 11:38 pm |
  7. R. Brown

    Shame on you Fareed. I have watched and agreed with you for a long time, but not today. You people in the Northeast as I too was raised in NYC and now living in Florida, need to come down from your Ivory towers and wake up! Very few illegals live up there. Get a grip and realize most construction jobs and skilled trades now and before the crash of our economy have been taken over by illegals! They have also depressed wages for any of us left that still have that type of job. This is why we have immigration laws!!! They are not just picking melons. I am an electrician and a victim of job loss from illegals stealing my job for a fraction of my pay and they pay NO taxes and 20 of them live in one cheap motel room. Contractors that hire them should be jailed! These laws as in other countries protect our jobs and prevent this exact situation from happening!

    February 16, 2014 at 1:32 pm |
  8. M. Kinney

    As a proud Tea Party member I found your comments today misleading and full of the usual left wing propaganda statements. You always leave out the main problem that TP members disagree on and don't trust Obama to implement, and that is securing our borders physically. As soon as this is done then I know a dialogue can be opened and a solution found. We don't want to face this problem again 12 years down the road. We failed to secure the borders in 1980 and look at where we are now...facing the same problem all over again.

    February 16, 2014 at 2:44 pm |
    • simbahash

      M Kinney ,- Ignore the rantings of chrissy . Continue the good work

      February 17, 2014 at 12:06 am |
  9. chrissy

    @ MKinney, more tax dollars are spent on security in this country than most countries spend on EVERYTHING!!! And certainly more than is spent on the wellbeing of the very citizens within those borders! We have the NSA which has been in existence since 1952 and has NOT prevented the 2 largest terrorist attacks on our soil. Add that to our military and homeland security and it adds up to be a collosal waste of vast amounts! And your fix is to spend MORE??

    February 16, 2014 at 4:44 pm |
  10. chrissy

    Its ok to disagree with me @ JOhn. And perhaps you wanta check your sources again...because Pres. Obama has pushed for immigration reform for quite sometime. Unfortunately, the congressional clowns have been so he!!bent on making him look like such a failure that they've done little else!

    February 16, 2014 at 8:03 pm |
  11. chrissy

    Oh and @ JOhn, from all that ive read, the Tea Partys biggest pet peeve with our Government is this...spending more money than what you have. Oh and unnecessary spending.

    February 16, 2014 at 8:43 pm |
  12. chrissy

    Oh and most importantly, only a fool would trust any one in government these days! They sure have proved time after time, that they are only self interested!

    February 16, 2014 at 10:01 pm |
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    March 31, 2015 at 2:33 am |
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