Go read the whole thing from Charles P. Pierce. It's awesome!--SS
Where Washington's Paralysis Really Came From - Esquire:
Yeah, Nixon was hiring Gordon Liddy, who wanted to firebomb the Brookings Institute and kill Jack Anderson, and who actually did burglarize the Democratic National Committee and the office of Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist, and they were also bombing the daylights out of Cambodia, breaking the law and killing Christ alone knows how many Asian peasants who never did anything to anybody, and National Guardsmen were gunning down students on America's campuses, but life was good because everybody still got together for happy hour. That is Tom Brokaw's vision of democratic self-government: Babbitry with B-52's.
(And, not for nothing, but that damned clubby attitude was the underlying social context for the pardon that kept Nixon, that criminal bastard, out of prison where he belonged.)The roots of the polarization that so bothers Brokaw are simple enough to trace. One of our two political parties determined long ago that it would ally itself fully with the forces of bigotry, corporate greed, crackpot economics, retrograde religiosity, and anti-intellectualism on a grand scale. Because of a regrettable apathy on the part of the general citizenry, this party succeeded wildly through that alliance and it has sought, at one level or another, to bring all of those things into the government of the country. (For their part, the Democrats only allied themselves with the corporate-greed part, and not even fully at that.) They have refused to accept the right of two consecutive Democratic presidents to govern the country, and they have not been shy about proclaiming that very thing. This is somewhat unprecedented. It is also, yes, polarizing. It should be. People should be angry that their expressed desire for how the country should be governed continues to be thwarted by a bunch of county commissioners punching above their weight class.