separation of powers? checks & balances?

Walter Dellinger, “Why Americans Hate Democrats — A Dialogue: Maybe It’s Not As Bad As We Think”, Slate, 2004-11-05:

[T]here seems to be a flaw in how our governing system is working that is turning narrow victories into unearned dominance. By (at best) narrowly prevailing in two elections in which the nation was split down the middle, one party, with the support of barely half the electorate, is in position to control everything—House, Senate, presidency, Supreme Court and lower-court appointments, everything.

The purpose of separation of powers is not being fulfilled. The branches were designed as a check on each other. But the institutional divisions between legislative bodies and the executive, or between the House and Senate, are no longer salient. The ideological purification of our parties—a relatively new and unfortunate development—may have created an identity of partisan interest so strong that separate branches, when controlled by the same party, provide no check at all. Due in part to greatly enhanced partisanship, loyalty to the Senate or House as an institution is being replaced for legislators of the president’s party with loyalty to the president. The Framers thought they had produced a system that would ensure that a faction supported by a bare 51 percent of the people could not make the other party its dog. It’s not working.

Interesting. What do our elected “representatives” with their “constitutional duties” have to say? Let’s hear from Sen. Rick Santorum [freep, 11/04]:

Senate Republicans are committed to approving all of the President’s judicial nominations…