I hope to have more "real" posting coming soon, but in the meantime, I was particularly struck by this passage from a Megan McArdle post discussing the failure of the "super committee" to come up with any agreement on budget cuts:
In a modern democratic state, two things are true of any policy agenda:
1. You eventually have to pay for it, with actual money.
2. You have to get those bastards on the other side to agree to it.
We seem to have an electorate who believes neither of these things, and the political class has followed them.
This, it strikes me, is how our political system is increasingly breaking down. Those on the left and right who care passionately enough about issues to even track them outside of election season have veered off in sufficiently opposite directions that nearly all policy proposals seem based on the assumption that all those one disagrees with will magically disappear. What could be more endemic of this than a movement whose primary political issue is setting up tents in public places and refusing to leave until... well, really, not one's exactly sure until what, but until something.
Yes, and then that's that paying for it thing. Hard core budget cutters (I suppose one can't get more hard core than Ron Paul, though I find it hard to take the fellow seriously on several levels) on the right are full of ideas on what they could cut, but this invariably runs afoul of the "those bastards on the other side" problem. And those on the hard left seem convinced we can fix it all if we "eat the rich" without realizing that there's not necessarily enough meat on the 1%'s bones to feed the 99% for any length of time.
Thus, merrily we row along, and will probably continue to do so until some sort of even bigger crisis moves that lumbering beast which is democracy into getting at least two or three limbs of the body politic moving in the same direction.