My workplace is pretty left-wing. I actually will take a conservative devil's advocate position around the water cooler just to make sure a debate is thorough. We were talking about the debt ceiling debate, and one of my co-workers just goes on how dysfunctional and broken government is and how it can't work. This is where I had to argue from my heart.
Giving up on government is exactly what the right wants. When a leftist just sort of gives up on Washington, this is their victory. When a Democrat doesn't vote because they feel it is "meaningless," this is their victory. And, yes, doing their damnedest to make Obama seem "too conservative" is probably part of their grand plan too.
Government is not dysfunction. We just have a few folks in their right now who are. Their goal is to "starve the beast," destroy consumer protections, and so on. If by breaking their little piece they convince you that EVERYTHING is broken then they win. They've achieved their goal. You will give up and not vote because you believe that government can't do anything, that YOU can't do anything.
They are wrong.
It's easy to throw a wrench in the works; it's a lot harder to make sure a machine is properly oiled, maintained, and run. A wrench is not dysfunction; it is not and should not be part of the system. It needs to be removed, and the machine will be fixed.
It is up to us to get the wrenches out and let government work again.