The president compromised on taxes because he didn’t he didn’t want to have a big, ugly across-the-board tax hike next year. The House Democrats didn’t pass a tax hike for the rich because they knew it would die in the Senate, leaving them with a risky vote on their record and nothing to show for it.
Meanwhile, state attorneys general are waging a vigorous court battle against the Obama health plan.
In other words, the separation of powers, bicamerialism, and federalism are all kicking in to check the Obama administration. The system is working in comformance to the owner’s manual, otherwise known as The Federalist Papers.
— John J. Pitney Jr. is the Roy P. Crocker professor of American politics at Claremont McKenna College.