“The Congress has gone further than any other in memory to replace debate and decision with delay and stultification. This is one of those moments when there is reason to wonder whether the Congressional system as it now operates is not a grave danger to the Republic. The Congress has “sat longer than any peacetime Congress in memory while accomplishing practically nothing.” It is a “scandal of drift and inefficiency.”
If this sounds familiar today the quotes were from 1963 and the President was John F. Kennedy who was stymied at every effort to get legislation passed that was surprisingly similar to issues which we face today. Hopefully there are lessons to be learned. in 1964 for many reasons some very sad, the next Congress went to work and got things done and under the direction of Lyndon Johnson, who for all his faults, understood how to build consensus.
And yes, I just read Robert Caro’s new book on LBJ.