Ben Domenech: Doing nothing is what the federal government does these days. No, I don’t mean in the usual sense of Harry Truman’s “Do-Nothing Congress.” Usually, when people complain that the government does nothing, they just mean it didn’t do what they want. I mean it literally. I mean the federal government, increasingly, can do nothing. Not in a partisan sense. Not in an ideological sense. Step back a bit from whatever allegiance, bias, or prejudice you have for a moment — and see the spectacle of the federal government of the United States, incapable of everything but nothing.
It’s a new thing in American history, so new it just crept upon us in the past few years. It’s so shocking that most of us don’t see it — because we can’t. Pattern recognition is one of the innate gifts of man’s intellect, but it requires a prior pattern to work. We’ve never really seen the government in Washington, D.C., capable of nothing before.
Yet here we are. The list of things the federal government suddenly cannot do is nearly a list of things absolutely everyone — left and right, Democrat and Republican — expects a government to be able to do.
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