Tim Bartz, Entry #3

10/3/13

Articles of Confederation/Constitution/Bill of Rights

Government Shutdown: Is it George Washington’s Fault?

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/DC-Decoder/Decoder-Wire/2013/1003/Government-shutdown-Is-it-George-Washington-s-fault

Synopsis: The author of this article would answer the question he himself poses in the title with a “yes.” His answer is based around his opinion that the American Government recently shutdown because of basic legislative features found in the Constitution which Washington spear-headed as President of the Constitutional Convention of 1787. He believes that the bicameral, or two-chambered legislature, is ineffective in resolving national issues because it often ends in a disagreement. However, back in this nation’s early years, the founding fathers believed that a two-chambered legislature would ensure equal representation and a balance of power by having multiple voices as opposed to one. While there is still a stalemate in the decision concerning the national debt, both sides have produced solutions to the issue at hand – compromise is needed and has not been reached.

Analysis: Recently we discussed the writing of the Constitution and today in class, Andrew, Juliet, and I all drew up a political cartoon with the Connecticut Compromise as the main focus. As we learned, the Connecticut Compromise was the deciding factor in the debate over both representation in Congress and the structure of the Legislative Branch. It drew ideas from both the Virginia Plan and the New Jersey Plan, and combined them to please both the smaller states fighting for equal representation between all states and the larger states fighting for representation based on population. The article states that, “the current US political predicament stems from flaws in the Constitution itself. ” The predicament being the Government Shutdown, and the flaws in the Constitution being this decision during the 1787 Convention to divided the National Legislature into two bodies. Now of course it was not directly George Washington’s fault – he is simply a symbol the author uses to pin the predicament on basic government  principles established during the 1787 Constitutional Convention.

-Tim

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