Only CNN is foolish enough to give this guy his own show.
(Mediaite) — Fareed Zakaria is getting sick and tired of all this partisanship in American politics, but unlike many political commentators, he has refused to blame one side or another. Instead, on his program this morning, Zakaria claimed the system was broken — not that it was too bureaucratic and cumbersome, but that having separation of powers in our government has made it so difficult to pass legislation that it may have directly caused the S&P credit downgrade.
For someone who got so riled up over the Tea Party’s “counter-constitutional” attitude, Zakaria really doesn’t seem to like the Constitution. Zakaria noted that after the credit downgrade, “only countries with parliamentary systems” have AAA ratings (except for France, which is a presidential/parliamentary hybrid). That “brought to mind my years in political science graduate school,” where he learned that parliamentary systems were superior because “the executive governs the legislature.”
The problem with America, Zakaria continued, was that both the Presidency and the legislature “claim to speak for the people,” one because of their most recent electoral victory and the other because of their election to the top of the executive ladder. He gave the presidential system some praise — arguing that America avoided the 20th century turn to “quasi-socialist economic plan that set the [UK] in a bad, bad path,” but “in a fast paced world where they are acting quickly and with foresight,” America seemed to be working too slowly for Zakaria.
It’s hard to figure out where to begin with this argument, but as Zakaria’s biggest complaint seems to be against the Tea Party, it’s worth looking at what the Tea Party would be capable of in a parliamentary system. In said systems, because the legislature appoints the executive leader, elections are held in the name of parties, not people. Voters elect one of (typically) any number of parties, which allowed greater access to individuals who do not have the influence of bigger parties behind them. In September 2010, right before the midterm elections, Gallup reports 58% of Americans would have wanted to see a third party form a viable coalition (62% of Tea Partiers did the same).