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Gridlock is the Good News?

I’ve heard people say a few times that if Barack Obama is reelected that there will be nothing but gridlock with the Republican House. The implication is that electing Mitt Romney would allow more stuff to get done.

But one of my favorite websites, Electoral-Vote, has an interesting analysis of that situation. It is only one paragraph, so I’ll repeat the whole thing:

Suppose Romney were to win the presidency but the Democrats kept the Senate. Then the two most powerful politicians in the country, Mitt Romney and Senate majority leader Harry Reid, would shared a common religion but practically nothing else. Could they work together? It seems unlikely given how much Reid has attacked Romney all year. Romney could find himself thwarted by Reid at every turn. Of course, a second Obama term could be equally thwarted by Speaker John Boehner, but Boehner and Obama don’t have the kind of personal animosity that Romney and Reid have. A Romney-Reid meeting at the White House would be constrained by the fact that they really dislike one another and each one wants the other to fail. An Obama-Boehner meeting wouldn’t have that, but would have a different problem: if Obama and Boehner made a deal on the fiscal cliff, for example, Boehner might not be able to get his troops into line as the tea party Republicans in the House won’t obey him just because he is their leader. Reid doesn’t have that problem. If he were to make a deal with Romney, Senate Democrats would follow his leadership. Either way, unless one party wins all the marbles, the forecast is for gridlock as far as the eye can see.

The good news is that Romney winning the presidency won’t be better news for reducing gridlock over the next four years. So if you are one of those people who like it when the government does as little as possible, you are definitely going to be happy no matter who wins the presidency.



  1. oregonbird wrote:

    Which is why the down ticket is the important part of this election, more so than the headliners. The role of the president is more important for the composition of the Supreme Court, than any other reason. So, since turning over a working Congress is the most important thing — why is the media ignoring the down tickets? Oh, they’re happy to make money off the candidates, but they give them no substantive coverage.

    Thursday, October 18, 2012 at 8:37 pm | Permalink
  2. il-08 wrote:

    Electoral-Vote is my second most favorite site on the interwebs, must reading every day.

    Thursday, October 18, 2012 at 11:45 pm | Permalink
  3. Dennis wrote:

    Two words. Supreme Court

    Thursday, October 18, 2012 at 11:47 pm | Permalink
  4. Dave, TN wrote:

    There is a small bit of leverage for Obama if elected concerning the tax cuts set to expire in Dec 2012. A re-elected Obama will have political inertia to get something moving in congress, albeit only for a short time. The Republiecans will be forced to come to the table.

    Friday, October 19, 2012 at 5:10 am | Permalink
  5. Electoral-Vote is probably my favorite politics related website.

    Sorry IK, but whoever runs Electoral-Vote gets my vote for favorite.

    Friday, October 19, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Permalink
  6. Iron Knee wrote:

    Andy (the guy who runs electoral-vote) actually helped me get started. No problem at all if it is your favorite!

    Friday, October 19, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Permalink
  7. Anonymous wrote:

    The role of the president is also important for appointing leaders for the various commissions set up by Congress. He is also able to selectively enforce acts of Congress.

    Tuesday, October 23, 2012 at 7:46 pm | Permalink