Divided Government Doesn’t Have to End in Gridlock

Dr. Louis Perron
blog post louis

I just read an interesting article written by former Senator Joe Lieberman and published by RealClearPolitics. He argues quite convincingly that divided government does not necessarily have to end in a gridlock. In fact, some of the most impactful legislation happened when control of power was divided in Washington D.C. For example, this was the case for the civil rights legislation, the federal highway system, social security reform, welfare reform and the responses to the cold war and the 9/11 terror attacks. In fact, it’s more likely than not that groundbreaking new legislation takes at least some amount of bipartisan support. Will it happen again this time? It’s not impossible. After all, we have a businessman turned politician in the White House. He might be more ideologically flexible than what one now expects after the first two years. But a lot depends on the question whether both Republicans and Democrats want to govern/legislate or to campaign for 2020. The two goals might be mutually exclusive.