Obama blames Founding Fathers’ ˜structural’ design of Congress for gridlock
President Obama is taking a swipe at the Founding Fathers, blaming his inability to move his agenda on the “disadvantage” of having each state represented equally in the Senate.
At a Democratic fundraiser in Chicago Thursday night, Mr. Obama told a small group of wealthy supporters that there are several hurdles to keeping Democrats in control of the Senate and recapturing the House. One of those problems, he said, is the apportionment of two Senate seats to each state regardless of population.
“Obviously, the nature of the Senate means that California has the same number of Senate seats as Wyoming. That puts us at a disadvantage,” Mr. Obama said.
The Founding Fathers decided in the “Great Compromise” in 1787 to apportion House seats based on population and give each state two seats in the Senate regardless of population. The solution was a compromise between large states and small states in a dispute that nearly dissolved the Constitutional Convention.
The president also blamed “demographics” for the inability of the Democratic Party to gain more power in Congress, saying Democrats “tend to congregate a little more densely” in cities such as New York and Chicago. He said it gives Republicans disproportional clout in Congress.
“So there are some structural reasons why, despite the fact that Republican ideas are largely rejected by the public, it’s still hard for us to break through,” Mr. Obama said.
He also said Democrats suffer from the “congenital disease” of not voting in midterm elections.