Is gridlock built into the Constitution? Peter Sagal explores this question in episode four, Built to Last?. Watch this clip from the film and readthoughts below, then tell us what you think.
The system might cease up, especially, temporarily, but I think they [the framers] would hope that in the long run, it will cure itself, it has corrective mechanisms, and you know what the most important corrective mechanism it has? Elections. Every two years we get to decide again, and if we think one party is really dumbing up the works, or trying to push things too far, too fast, we can vote for the other party. Every two years we elect the entire House of Representatives, every four years we have a new president, when Lincoln takes office, there are a bunch of people who are very disheartened, and here's what Lincoln says, 'I understand you don't like me, but four years ain't that long, just wait me out and we'll do a redo in four years and you can have your fair shot.'
Cause this is amazing and great democratic countries around the world don't do this. We hold elections come hell or high water. The British, they cancelled elections during World War II. We hold elections in the middle of a Civil War. Fair and square elections, it's pretty amazing.
- Akhil Amar, Professor of Law and Political Science, Yale University