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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Filed under: Overheard on CNN.com
soundoff (80 Responses)
  1. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    MysticRiver is wise.
    He probably keeps a lot of the money he earns.

    September 30, 2011 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Obstruction of anything is obviously unhealthy.
    Everybody should agree about everything.

    September 30, 2011 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Dictionary Dan

    "and this conflict is part of democracy"

    I think Toobin needs to look up the word. It does not mean what he thinks it does.

    September 30, 2011 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
  4. fernace

    In my 30 years as an adult, I have never seen the sheer pigheadedness that the GOP-TP has been displaying since President Obama took office! I have seen some questionable behavior towards presidents before, but never 1 who had to show his birthcertificate! That's about as personally insulting as it gets! No matter what compromises or solutions the Obama Administration comes up with, the GOP-TP in Congress stonewalls! And fine, don't work with him, but at least come up with an alternative, but they're not even doing that, so it's a complete stale mate! This is why we're not moving forward, why the jobs initiatives both parties have crowed about, have all but been forgotten, why we're just treading water as a nation! Our supposed leaders are playing politics, which apparently takes precedence to getting our national economy back on track! It's like a fight between 2 warring factions, not 2 parties who keep each other in check! Where's the democracy in that??

    September 30, 2011 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
  5. fernace

    Hey Joey Isotta Fraschini, long time no read! If that's really you; reads like you, but trolls are getting sophisticated these days! Anyway, good 2 see your name! Tounge in cheek as usual!!

    September 30, 2011 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Wil

    Frankly Obama and the democrats have no one to blame but themselves. For the first two years of the Obama presidency, the Democrats pushed through anything they wanted without the bi-partisanship they are crying for now. They want compromise now, when they showed none before.

    The rise of the Tea Party and the crushing Republican win in 2010 are the fruits borne of the seeds of political hackery and hyper partisanship planted from 2008-2010.

    If the fruit is bitter, Obama and Pelosi and the democrats have no one to blame but themselves.

    September 30, 2011 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
  7. gung hoe

    Hey jiffy man where you and your bipeps
    been hiding yourselfs We have missed you and your eternal wisdom .Now for the thread joey can you point out something where absolutely everbody gets along or agree about everything
    Joe I dont know how you feel about this .But I would say we got off on the wrong foot , after reading your comments for a period , I deffinately have picked up on your wisdom and intellegence so old chap whatcha say we bury the hatchet and get along and move on

    September 30, 2011 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
  8. leeintulsa

    After trying to ignore, literally for years, my embarassing bank and the things it does, i'm gonna leave boa behind.

    September 30, 2011 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
  9. gung hoe

    Come on fernace they painted that nifty little mustache nn the W .It gets done by both sides ,and its really stuped when either side does it and has a tendency for me to tune out

    September 30, 2011 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |
  10. banasy©

    I've never banked at BoA, but after hearing from my former neighbors their experiences concerning their home loans, I won't be in the future, either.

    September 30, 2011 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
  11. gung hoe

    Well oh well oh well Looky at who shows up ona friday nite THE OKIE FROM TULSA what friday nite dont have a date after the last time a a aj j jj m d ddb j kj6 a a

    September 30, 2011 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      A date... Lol.. I guess you could call it that – i asked her if she wanted to go out that night, and she did. We've gotta get out every other month or so.. Otherwise, the kids and these four walls drive us nuts.

      That's right. Gettin' it every night. Givin ya something to shoot for..

      September 30, 2011 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
  12. banasy©

    There's enough finger-pointing going on to put them together colectively and pick GW's nose on Mt. Rushmore. It's both sides, and it does nothing to further the way America is looked at around the world.

    September 30, 2011 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
  13. gung hoe

    Well oh well oh well Looky at who shows up ona friday nite THE OKIE FROM TULSA what friday nite dont have a date after the last time a a aj j jj m d ddb j kj6 a a W w m
    Just ragging on ya bud ya know that I KNOW UR NOTE A OKIE

    September 30, 2011 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      I'll take okie. Been called worse.. Born here, went away as a child, came back an adult.. I'm like braveheart.. 😉

      September 30, 2011 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
  14. America is fat.

    That's how the world sees US. Fat. Them and any camera.

    September 30, 2011 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |

    obummer is a closet republican

    September 30, 2011 at 11:06 pm | Report abuse |
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