Overheard on CNN.com: Obstruction is not healthy democracy
Said one commenter: "Democracy is the worst form of government until you compare it to all the others."
September 30th, 2011
07:02 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Obstruction is not healthy democracy

Comments of the Day:

"Mr. Toobin, I'm sure there were some folks who thought it was just healthy discussion back in 1861, too."–Delta75

"Very well-written article. It was never the role of government to come up with solutions. It's not designed to do so. It's only role was to protect rights. It's trying to do way too much!"–harrytubman

Conflict is a feature of democracy, not a flaw

Stubbornness and lack of wit are not the cause of conflict between Democrats and Republicans, writes CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin. They disagree because they have "profound ideological differences" over whether government can be a "useful social engine to protect the environment, help the poor and build the economy." And this conflict, he writes, is part of democracy.

Some CNN.com readers disagreed that the present conflicts are a sign of healthy democracy. The rest argued over political ideology.

mooseman316 said, "What an insipid piece of claptrap. Conflict is a flaw; overcoming conflict is what our government is all about. We are not overcoming anything and that is the flaw in the system."

hippediva said, "Conflict? I think he means compromise, a word all the idealogues forgot long ago when they learned to bully their way to 'victory,' even if it means breaking the whole to satisfy the very few."

klur said, "I think that the debt ceiling debacle is a prime example of our government not working. Yes, controversy serves a purpose in a democratic government, but when there is complete obstruction of every piece of legislation proposed, the government is NOT WORKING."

1jstaffo said, "It's one thing to disagree yet compromise (many presidents and Congresses have done so); it's another to do nothing, which is what we currently have: nothing getting accomplished."

boogle said "At the end of the day, it is the duty of both parties to come up with a compromise that *most* but not necessarily all people can live with. Yes, debate is necessary but it is not the goal. There are too many conservative and liberal organizations influencing government when it's supposed to be 'for the people.'"

jboHDrider said, "Toobin is out there flapping. The reason that the govenment is broken is because the parties are pandering to special interests and not legislating to the will of the people."

maggiemom asked, "If this is just healthy debate, why are the GOP voting against ideas that are IN its own ideological framework, like tax cuts for businesses, simply because they are coming from the administration?"

reconman0321 said "Democracy is the worst form of government until you compare it to all the others...."

Bank of America to charge $5 monthly debit card fee

Most CNN.com readers were dismayed to learn that Bank of America would soon be charging customers $5 per month for debit-card purchases. Those with premium accounts, and those who don't use the card or use it only at ATMs, will not be charged. Many said they would move their accounts to credit unions, local banks, or their mattresses.

MysticRiver said, "One hundred years ago, a wise man kept his money secure in the bank. Today, a wise man keeps his money in cash, stuffed under his mattress."

CMHTed said, "Hopefully BOA customers speak with their money and leave for community banks. As for me, I turned back to cash last year and I'm loving it."

DaveHolmes said, "This is crazy. Should everyone start writing checks again? How many employees did banks let go by going automated? Bank cards and automation have saved banks billions of dollars! Yet the greedy banking industry wants more. It's not enough that they destroyed the American economy by writing bad loans. Banks should be paying us to use their services! Hopefully my credit union won't pull this.

ToTwoToo said, "Go find a CU where you're the owner and get to vote on your board of directors. Better yet... join a CU and run for the board of directors!"

clsanchez77 said, "My family banks with a local community bank. At our bank, the bank's customers are the stockholders. We do not report to Wall Street; the bank reports to us. The result: I have no fees. My checking accounts–all three of them–are free. My only requirement is direct deposit. We have an ATM on the main account, no fees. I can walk in and see a teller, no fees. I can write checks, no fees.

Monty Liss said, "This is even more sinister: B of A manages unemployment checks for EED. This means they are actually bilking unemployed Americans out of $5 every month!"

Kirk Kohnen said, "Don't get mad, get even. Go out and buy *1* share of their stock ("BAC"). This will set you back $20-$30. Then sit back while they have to send you their annual report, and their 1¢ dividend checks 4 times per year."

Some readers had their own names for BoA: ethandy said, "BoA constrictor."
jrh512 suggested, "Bank Opposed to Americans."

Do you feel your views align with these commenters' thoughts? Post a comment below or sound off on video.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

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soundoff (80 Responses)
  1. Kweg Yung

    Corporate America's expansion into China was paid for by the American taxpayer. Bush's “tax cuts for the rich” policy helped to fund this transition. That's why no American jobs were created but a lot of Chinese jobs were. Republican politicians represent the corporate rich, the 'job creators'. When was the last time you saw a job created in the U.S.? The rich don't pay tax in this country and their corporations are physically based in communist China; where, by the way, SOCIALIZED healthcare and SOCIALIZED education are the norm and ALL the banks are state owned. These former American companies only pay tax in China, supporting a growing communist government and military. Republican politicians sold us (U.S.) out. These guys aren't batting for us (U.S.) anymore.

    October 15, 2011 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Ada

    Anyone with any commonsense knows that the Republicans has sold this country out but many refuse to acknowledge it. They would rather close their eyes and ears and blame the Democrats for this fiasco. We have lost jobs and for many our homes and future but they still support and believe all of the lies and distortions that the Republicans constantly spit out to the TV and radios stations. The Republicans have sold their souls to corporate America and they are willing to see everything fail if they cannot control the outcome. All you have to do is look closely at their unreasonable effort to make this President fail no matter who is hurt with the exception of the wealthy and corporations. We as Americans need to take back our representative from these groups and tell any up and coming representative that they are to represent the people or they should look for another job. There have been many opportunities for them to show that they represent the people but they have gone against the President and the Democrats by voting against, stalling or attacking these efforts instead of working with the opposition to improve our country. They have said its either our way or the highway and that is not what this country is all about. We must work together or we all fail. When did it become unacceptable to work with the opposition? When did the opposition become the enemy? When did the Party leaders decide that they controlled the various representatives when it is the people who vote them in? When did the Party become more important than the voters? These are some of the questions voters need to ask themselves before they cast their next vote. The Republican leaders have taken away the peoples representatives and given them over the the moneyed people. Its you life and your future and if you don't demand that the people you vote into office represent you then you are the loser along with this country.

    October 19, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chad

      Ok can you stop only blaming the Republicans for the problems that are wrong in this country. Do they deserve a ton of blame? The answer is absolutely. But the blame also falls on just about every politician in this country and that includes Democrats. Let's not full ourselves into thinking that all Democrats are saints and can do no wrong because they can. Don't get me wrong, i'm not a Republican (nor am I a Democrat) and i'm not trying to take the Republican side. The politicians from both parties should work together to at least find a common ground (and please don't bring up Obama's attempts to work with the Republicans cause I get it- it's one of the few things I do praise him on). But the people like you (on both sides of the political spectrum) who believe that one party does only good and the other party does only evil is just feeding this political stalemate. Let me ask you a question. Why would any politician, of whatever political position, whose only real job (in their minds) is to get reelected, try in any way to compromise when people like you (on both sides) would just vote them out for being a traitor to your beliefs? If you don't like that politicians are in the pocket of big business then vote them out. All of them! Not just the Republicans but also the Democrats who take money from big business. Cause you can't be naive enough to believe that there were no strings attached can you? Unfortunately, judging by your post above, you probably believe that the Democrats just did it so they could help all the little people while the Republicans just did it to get rich. If thats the case then YOU are the loser.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  3. McCamy

    I am so disappointed that the jobs bill was voted down again. We don't live in a democracy, this is not the will of the people, I write to my congressman every day, every day I comment in the newspapers online, no one is listening. Who really cares about us? No one, not the banks, not the Feds, not the media, not our politicians. This country has lost its way. It’s a sad day when our President gets treated like the enemy in his own country... Sick of it all

    October 21, 2011 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
  4. GBUJarhead

    Bill Hall (Lewiston, Idaho, syndicated columnist) has accurately described the state of Congress: they have "...lost the people's legislative branch to the moneyed forces of greed who now own it."

    October 23, 2011 at 1:37 am | Report abuse |
  5. el kababa

    American Conservatism is the problem. Conservatism is class warfare. The goal of Conservatism is to confiscate middle class wealth and cripple American government. America's Conservative leaders have convinced millions of middle-class Americans to vote against their own self-interest. Conservatism is sedition.

    October 23, 2011 at 8:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Tautologist

      Conservatism is class warfare? Wow, that one of the larger double-speak whoppers I've seen in a while. Perhaps you haven't noticed the "soak-the-rich" class warfare being promulgated by none other than our commander-in-chief? Wake up my friend, the first step to recovery is acknowledging that you have a problem....

      October 23, 2011 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
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