From Franklin Roosevelt’s 1937 State of the Union address:
In the many methods of attack with which we met these problems, you and I, by mutual understanding and by determination to cooperate, helped to make democracy succeed by refusing to permit unnecessary disagreement to arise between two of our branches of government. That spirit of cooperation was able to solve difficulties of extraordinary magnitude and ramification with few important errors, and at a cost cheap when measured by immediate necessities and the eventual results.
FDR’s fruitful partnership with Congress ended not long after that speech, as the expansion of the modern welfare state began to bump against the white supremacist foundations of political and social power in the South. But even after acknowledging that fundamental legislation like the National Labor Relations Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act excluded most African Americans from their protections in order to get the support from Southern Congressmen they needed for passage, it is undeniable that from 1933 to 1937 Congress and the President effectively cooperated to address the devastation of the Depression without succumbing to the anti-Democratic forces sweeping the globe.
The last five years have been possibly the toughest we’ve faced since World War II and the Depression. But the challenges for government could have been much more easily managed than what faced FDR and those Congresses. But our politics have failed, largely because the Republican party has failed our democracy.
Congress cooperated with FDR to recover from a catastrophe. Our current Congress–specifically, the House Republicans–are so deranged that rather than cooperate with Obama, they are determined to create a catastrophe.