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Republican leaders Senator Mitch McConnell (R) and John Boehner speak after a bipartisan meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House in Washington June 10, 2010. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS)
It's all their fault.

We really are experiencing the worst Congress, ever. Or at least in modern times. There are a lot of ways to quantify that (50+ votes in the House to repeal Obamacare?), but the Brookings Institute's Sarah Binder has come up with a particularly elegant one. Using unsigned editorials in The New York Times from 1947 through 2013, Binder determined the critical issues each Congress was dealing with—those covered at least four times in editorials. Then she looked to see how many of those salient issues were resolved by Congress. By 2013, fully 75 percent of the critical issues on Congress's agenda were blocked by gridlock.
Line chart showing frequency of legislative gridlock, 1947-2013
And by "gridlock," Brooking's Thomas Mann wants to make clear, they mean polarization, and when talking polarization "false equivalence is no virtue."
That mismatch between parties and governing institutions is exacerbated by the fact that the polarization is asymmetric. Republicans have become a radical insurgency—ideologically extreme, contemptuous of the inherited policy regime, scornful of compromise, unpersuaded by conventional understanding of facts, evidence, and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of their political opposition. The evidence of this asymmetry is overwhelming.
Here's one piece of the evidence: Ideology in House roll call votes since 1870. That blue line veering radically upward? That's Republicans.
Line chart showing ideological voting patterns since 1870.
How to fix that is the big problem, and it must be fixed if the country is to function again effectively for all but the wealthiest people who can buy policy. Seems to me the start of fixing it though, is fixing the Republican Party, and it sure does appear that Republicans are going to be handling that themselves. It's hard to see anyway around the need for the Republican Party as it currently exists in its extremism to be crushed, ground into dust from which it must be forced to reform. Which is a long-term project.

In the meantime, maybe the Democratic Senate could try to move that project along a bit, by reforming the filibuster once and for all and getting some shit done,  thereby putting more pressure on the Republican House to stop being a national embarrassment. A girl can dream.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Thu May 29, 2014 at 03:54 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  since 1870? WTF (12+ / 0-)
    How to fix that is the big problem, and it must be fixed if the country is to function again effectively for all but the wealthiest people who can buy policy. Seems to me the start of fixing it though, is fixing the Republican Party, and it sure does appear that Republicans are going to be handling that themselves. It's hard to see anyway around the need for the Republican Party as it currently exists in its extremism to be crushed, ground into dust from which it must be forced to reform. Which is a long-term project.
    sad that the era of bipartisanship comes with a world war

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "If we appear to seek the unattainable, then let it be known that we do so to avoid the unimaginable." (@eState4Column5)

    by annieli on Thu May 29, 2014 at 03:58:57 PM PDT

    •  Started w Depression (10+ / 0-)

      And look how the Democrats turned conservative as soon as we started governing for the people.

      The sharpest swing on the chart is the Democrats rushing toward 1937's austerity in response to saving the economy and beginning to build our first ever large middle class.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Thu May 29, 2014 at 05:24:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I've been saying for years that it will take a (10+ / 0-)

      major catastrophe on the scale of Pearl Harbor in order to get those asshats to work together. And I mean the goopers. I thought climate change would have been enough, given the dire consequences, but they're saying, "sunken battleships?  I don't see no stinkin' sinkin' battleships."
      And now I wonder, if, like in the original "The Day The Earth Stood Still," would they rally 'round the leader in the white house or will Gort just have to vaporize them all?
      Remember the message Klaatu wanted to get across? "Get your shit together and get rid of the nukes or we zap your planet."
      Guess we figured how to do that ourselves, huh.  Now that's progress.
      (Gort, Borado Nickto)

      You all laugh because I'm different; I laugh because you're all the same

      by sajiocity on Thu May 29, 2014 at 06:19:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Money vs. Survival of Life on Earth (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        justaHippie, Shawn87, sajiocity

        I thought as you did, Sajiocity, that a choice between our species' survival and economics would be a no-brainer.  But myopic people with selfish interests think otherwise.

        I'm frustrated, exasperated, and angry that so many politicians are ignoring climate change.  In doing so, they choose a course that guarantees the eventual extinction of our species, not to mention all others.  Economic considerations pale relative to with the existential threat we're setting up for our successors to face.

        I've shaved my head for many years.  Otherwise I'd have long ago torn out every last follicle.

        •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

          I wonder if the ones pulling the strings (Kochs and friends) actually think killing the planet doesn't matter because they will be able to escape to some other planet.  Or maybe more realistically, escape to the one or two spots left on earth that will sustain life.

      •  Just look at 9/11 (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lyta, sajiocity

        and how the GOP handled that.

        Sure because there was a Republican in the White House the Dems "put country first" and put on the united front.

        Their reward? Partisan attacks on their patriotism in 2002 mid terms if they questioned anything Bush wanted to do.

        Is there any doubt what the response of the modern GOP would be to a Pearl Harbor? They would break any sodomy laws still on the books trying to leap frog over each other to be first in line to file the impeachment papers.

        Blue is blue and must be that but yellow is none the worse for it - Carlisle Wheeling

        by kenwards on Fri May 30, 2014 at 11:40:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I will take gridlock any day over legislation that (10+ / 0-)

    the very radical republican house thinks is a good idea.

    Better to stay in place then to go backwards.  

  •  Gridlock is the inflammation of Congress, (11+ / 0-)

    Republicans are the infection.

    •  Pray tell, WHo or WHAT is the antibiotic? (5+ / 0-)

      Cuz goodness knows we are in desperate need of a MAJOR dose of whatever it takes to get rid of this potentially fatal infection of GOOPerism...

      America's LAST HOPE: vote the GOP OUT in 2014 elections. MAKE them LOSE the House Majority and reduce their numbers in the Senate. Democrats move America forward - Republicans take us backward and are KILLING OUR NATION!

      by dagnome on Fri May 30, 2014 at 07:45:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We need more COMMITTED voters (6+ / 0-)

        I vote in every election in which I am eligible, come hell or high water. Back in my Republican days that seemed to be an article of faith in the GOP.
        It is a weak party when many of its people only vote when fired up. That tends to happen in Presidential years. About a month ago there was a diary, with graphs, about interest shown in dailykos. The peak was in 2008.
        And for heavens sake, more interest needs to be taken in Democratic primaries. More people need to give good people more incentive to run for office, file in the primaries. In my state of Texas only the most dedicated of liberals, or wealthy Democrats, run. We just got through having a Democratic runoff and the turnout was pathetic.
        A LaRouche candidate for US Senate was trounced, but she had gotten into the runoff. A more liberal candidate did not make the runoff.

        Censorship is rogue government.

        by scott5js on Fri May 30, 2014 at 08:11:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Antibiotic (0+ / 0-)

        The remedy is enough VOTERS who will throw these Koch-funded jerks out of office and thus power and VOTE IN people who will work for all the people.  (I'm thinking Elizabeth Warren now).

  •  Both sides do play games (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock, EdMass, coffeetalk, lyta

    Harry Reid is just as guilty of game playing in the Senate as Boner is in the House.

    What this country really needs is a constitutional amendment that compels Congress to hold a vote in the other house on any bill that is passed by either chamber.

    That way we aren't at the mercy of the whims of a majority leader in either house more interested in protecting his job or his members than doing the people's work.

    I have long thought that if you are too embarrassed to hold a vote on something then you should re-examine your position.

    Until then we are stuck with our current system where Boner won't allow votes and Reid purposely fills the tree to avoid votes he would be embarrassed to have in the Senate.

    It is childish, and both parties have dirty hands.  

    •  And there you have it (0+ / 0-)

      No one will call out the Republicans and their obstruction.

      And they are poised to take the Senate.

      And Democrats who don't call them out, will hand it to them.

      I am so sick and tired of trying to make people see the truth.

      Let the Republicans control the entire government.

      Then, if it's not too late, Dems will get off their asses and vote!

      •  Could be a problem. (0+ / 0-)

        If we turn over the entire government to the GOP, we may not have another vote to change things.  THey're already working on making voting hard/impossible for many people.

        My state is actually considering a change in the way votes are counted, which would assure a republican win in every national election.

        This is scary stuff.

    •  Doesn't this already exist? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      John in Cleveland, daeros

      It's all procedural rules to f the other side.  

      Unprecedented that the Senate Leader allows no debate on amendments nor allows any amendments for debate, by stacking the schedule of discussion to prevent same.

      I would posit, we would be screaming to holy hell if a Rethug leader did this to us.  Yes?  No?

      What the f are they/we afraid of?  It's supposed to be a debate and a vote.   It's not that hard.  Just like going to a conference committee to reconcile the House and Senate versions of a bill.  But that doesn't seem to happen either.

      Oh, I know.  It's all about the next election.  

      The "Greatest Deliberative Body" my ass.  

      "When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, And the women come out to cut up what remains, Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains An' go to your Gawd like a soldier." Rudyard Kipling

      by EdMass on Thu May 29, 2014 at 04:42:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Allowing no debate on unrelated poison pills? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Shawn87, lyta

        How horrible of Harry Reid. He could (and should) allow debate on amendments if they were germane and not designed to either poison the bill or run down the clock. And THAT is a specifically Republican sin against deliberation. Plus forcing nearly EVERY vote to wait for 30 hours of "debate" (which they do NOT use for debate) and then require 60 votes, which Dems hardly ever did. Yes, our side plays tricks, but the cases are NOT equal.

    •  Mind Bogglingly Stupid System Design (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      oldpotsmuggler, The Termite, daeros

      to allow a negligible sized representative body to deploy itself so as to shut down Constitutional governance.

      There are more imbecilic features of this system than we can suppose, as a quantum political scientist might say.

      Not EVEN stupid.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Thu May 29, 2014 at 05:28:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Wut? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Shawn87

        The House is a "negligible sized representative body"?  

        When the system works for your interest it's okay, otherwise it's "Not EVEN stupid".

        Outstanding situational ethics there on you part, imho.

        "When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, And the women come out to cut up what remains, Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains An' go to your Gawd like a soldier." Rudyard Kipling

        by EdMass on Thu May 29, 2014 at 05:53:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think you're cramming words in GR's mouth (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Betty Pinson, unclebucky, daeros, Shawn87

          Regardless of outcomes I think it suggests a significant design flaw when over half the House and nearly half the Senate can survive in office by prosecuting the strategy of breaking government.

          I do not think the founding fathers anticipated a kamikaze squad. But that is exactly the force that the GOP has deployed into our government. Do you disagree?

          Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is most important that you do it.

          by The Termite on Fri May 30, 2014 at 07:51:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  And yet Thomas Jefferson faced just such a (0+ / 0-)

            kamikaze squad in the Federalists in the 1800 and 1804 elections, and in Congress in between. The Federalists became irrelevant to national politics in 1815, and there followed 18 years of single-party dominance in the Era of Good Feelings before big business could cobble together its second major party, the Whigs.

            In fact, the question of "faction", as this problem was called at the time, was one of the biggest concerns of our Founders. if you were to do a Google search on

            US Constitution faction
            as I just now did, you would see more than a million hits, starting with links to Federalist No. 10, The Utility of the Union as a Safeguard Against Domestic Faction and Insurrection (by James Madison), continuing the theme of Federalist No. 9 (by Alexander Hamilton).

            The discussion appears naive in light of later developments, most notably the Civil War, but in fact nobody in any other country has come up with anything better. If half of the country firmly believes in the illegitimacy of government on some issue, that half can make the country ungovernable on that issue.

            We are now doing our best to minimize the damage until the Republicans go the way of the Federalists. They have made it impossible for any of theirs to win the Presidency, so it comes down to how long it takes for generational and demographic shifts, and further major Republican blunders, to allow Democrats to overcome the gerrymanders and take the House again.

            If we then put through a new and updated Voting Rights Act that can effectively prohibit voter suppression and gerrymanders, and create a SCOTUS-proof preclearance list, we will then be able to put through most of the measures that the public supports by large majorities in that session, and continue with a debate between the Progressive and Corporatist wings of the Democratic Party, without Tea Party interference.

            Republicans face huge gender gaps, race gaps, immigration gaps, youth gaps, and much more even in the Reddest states, and are doing everything they can think of to make those gaps worse. We have all of the issues other than hate and fear. All we have to do in November is show up.

            Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

            by Mokurai on Fri May 30, 2014 at 01:02:46 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  EdMass... (0+ / 0-)

          Gooserock, I think, was talking about the not-so-large group of tea partiers in the House who have been able to run the show. It's this much smaller group that has thrown a monkey wrench into everything, and the rules of congress have allowed it.

    •  Both sides DO play games (11+ / 0-)

      Kabuki is a natural feature of politics in any country.

      But no party has been nearly as extreme as Repubs in recent years.  It's also pretty obvious to anyone who knows anything about how Congress has typically functioned and what is going on now.

      Republicans have carried this to extremes that are dangerous for the country and are endangering lives.

      Read the Mann and Ornstein book that I highlight below.

      I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

      by Satya1 on Fri May 30, 2014 at 06:03:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A question. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    John in Cleveland

    Why when Rethugs do what they do it is "gridlock"  and when Dems do it, it is the "loyal opposition".

    With control of the WH and Senate, I have been perplexed for years as to why we seemingly cannot get anything done.  This is not the first divided Gubmint.  

    I think it takes two to f things up.

    Just say'in.

    "When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, And the women come out to cut up what remains, Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains An' go to your Gawd like a soldier." Rudyard Kipling

    by EdMass on Thu May 29, 2014 at 04:34:18 PM PDT

  •  We need to GOTV and kick their obstructionist (14+ / 0-)

    asses come November and TAKE BACK THE HOUSE and keep the Senate with reformed filibuster rules and move this country forward!

    Best. President. Ever.

    by Little Lulu on Thu May 29, 2014 at 04:52:00 PM PDT

    •  ^^^THIS^^^ - oh boy this, in spades... (4+ / 0-)

      America's LAST HOPE: vote the GOP OUT in 2014 elections. MAKE them LOSE the House Majority and reduce their numbers in the Senate. Democrats move America forward - Republicans take us backward and are KILLING OUR NATION!

      by dagnome on Fri May 30, 2014 at 07:48:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Except that with gerrymandering... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shawn87

      ... we need a LOT more than 50% of the popular vote to take back the house. Sort of like the House version of the filibuster.

      •  They have mostly gerrymandered states (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TheMeansAreTheEnd

        to the 55% level in Red districts, in order to maximize the number of seats they can safely win, assuming no changes to the electorate. But the electorate is shifting in our direction. It is only a matter of time and GOTV.

        Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

        by Mokurai on Fri May 30, 2014 at 01:07:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I hope so. (0+ / 0-)

          I live in Michigan, heavily gerrymandered to assure GOP victories in all state elections.  There's a rumor that our legislature (overwhelmingly republican) behind closed doors is talking about changing the way the state counts votes in national elections.  Doing it by districts rather that just by individuals.  That would assure GOP victories from now on.

          Scary stuff.  But not beneath what the conservatives would do.

          •  The funny thing about tipping points (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            reasonshouldrule

            is that nothing seems to happen until you reach one, and then it all starts to happen at once.

            Look at Marriage Equality, where opponents won on every ballot measure until they started losing, and they haven't won a thing since. Since the Federal court case in Nevada two years ago (on appeal in the Ninth Circuit, which put it on hold pending the outcome of some other cases) we have won thirteen times and lost none. The appeals from Utah, Oklahoma, and Virginia were heard last month in the Tenth and Fourth Circuits, and we will have their decisions soon as well.

            Look at the Civil War, where Robert E. Lee brilliantly fended off every attack from what should have been overwhelming Union forces until he ran out of recruits defending Richmond and had to bug out to the West. He surrendered to Grant two weeks later.

            Look at Global Warming, where the Denialists have fended off every effective measure until we reached Grid Parity, where renewables became cheaper than coal in a few places, then a lot of places, and now almost everywhere, and the markets have spoken. Even Goldman Sachs is telling anybody who will listen not to invest in thermal coal for power plants, or in coal export terminals. (Coal for making steel is still viable. Emissions from making steel have been cut by half, and are still declining.) The EPA is scheduled to announce a plan for 30% cuts in emissions from existing power plants today. We are already building more renewable capacity than fossil carbon capacity, and we now have a path to closing all coal-fired power plants, even if not as quickly as we would like.

            Republicans can be counted on to try every dirty electoral trick they know or can invent. It will not be enough, and when once we break through, we can outlaw all of the electoral shenanigans they have tried, and more besides. There are people keeping score on this who have been preparing draft bills ever since the Supreme Court struck down the old preclearance formula.

            Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

            by Mokurai on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 10:17:37 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Worth 1,000 words: (0+ / 0-)

    LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

    by BlackSheep1 on Thu May 29, 2014 at 06:20:28 PM PDT

  •  this has been said before (0+ / 0-)

    but our government was set up to be this way. on purpose.

    •  No, not really (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OleHippieChick, cowdab, Shawn87

      because there was some level of expectation that people would get down to the basic job of governing in between elections.  Instead we have a party that made it an ideology that one's main purpose is simply to win no matter the cost to the country.  

      When truth is only a matter of opinion, advantage goes to the liars.

      by Sun dog on Fri May 30, 2014 at 08:02:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I would respectfully disagree with "this way." (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shawn87

      It was set up to allow sanity, in some form, to prevail and assumed such would always ultimately be the case.  These Repugs, for the most part are NOT sane.

  •  You can bet your bippy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sister Havana, Shawn87

    that - if the GOP should take the senate in the mid-terms - the first thing the majority leader will do is to repeal the filibuster.

    In the meantime, maybe the Democratic Senate could try to move that project along a bit, by reforming the filibuster once and for all and getting some shit done,  thereby putting more pressure on the Republican House to stop being a national embarrassment. A girl can dream.
    Seriously, I'll bet 10 bucks that the first order of business in a Republican Senate will be the repeal. Once they're back in power it no longer serves any purpose for them.

    I'm a sanctimonious purist. Whatchya gonna do about it?

    by speedingpullet on Fri May 30, 2014 at 07:44:56 AM PDT

    •  and repealing it deprives the DEM minority (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      scott5js, cowdab, Shawn87, speedingpullet

      of any really usable weapon to slow down what will undoubtedly be a Republican rush to dismantle legislation that has helped the nation for decades - Social Security, Medicare, etc...

      America's LAST HOPE: vote the GOP OUT in 2014 elections. MAKE them LOSE the House Majority and reduce their numbers in the Senate. Democrats move America forward - Republicans take us backward and are KILLING OUR NATION!

      by dagnome on Fri May 30, 2014 at 07:49:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The President's hand (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        speedingpullet

        Will get cramped with all the vetoes he will be signing if the R's take the Senate. How would things be any different than they are now? Bad press for Obama? So what? The R's are now, and will continue, to "hump the proverbial basketball." It's all a fucking power gaining game for these idiots. This will not end well for them. Unfortunately we have to also suffer these fools until they implode. God help us.

        "Because we are all connected...."

        by Shawn87 on Fri May 30, 2014 at 01:12:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The Republican Party is without principles (8+ / 0-)

    Republicans advocate governing by two sets of rules: one when they hold power, and a different set when they don't.

    When W ascended to the Presidency every republican with a talk show or access to a microphone was demanding that the "President be allowed to pick his team". Essentially, Bush's every nominee should receive approval, period. When Obama is elected, that pious demand from Republicans instantaneously disappears and Republicans adamantly, proudly, proclaim that it is their obligation to prevent Obama's nominees from being confirmed.

    That is just one example of many. Democracy cannot work when there are two different sets of rules for governing depending on who is in charge.

    The modern Republican party exists not to do the will of the people, but to do the will of their ruling elite, regardless of its impact on the country.

  •  Thanks for the excellent diary Joan (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shawn87

    It's a pity more commenters didn't read it closely or check out the valuable links you provided.

    I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

    by Satya1 on Fri May 30, 2014 at 08:00:00 AM PDT

  •  Indeed, Democrats are a post-ideological party, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Betty Pinson

    as illustrated by the graph that shows an every-decreasing commitment to liberal principles.  Someone tell me how that's a good thing?  Far-right wing Republicans, even when small in numbers, get what they want by sticking to principle and refusing to back down.  They're not afraid to draw a line in the sand on ideological grounds, fight and lose, and then fight again.  Liberal Democrats are the exact opposite. Everyone knows that liberal Democrats always take scraps rather than risk losing a fight.  Much of the Bush/Cheney agenda could have been blocked if the congressional progressive caucus had the stomach to fight like conservatives do for what they want.  Likewise the Obama years wouldn't be such a colossal disappointment if liberals would have occasionally drawn a line in the sand and not capitulated as everyone knew they would.

  •  Lots of Republican politican are insane (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sister Havana, cowdab, Shawn87

    Some do not even have a grasp of reality  

  •  Sigh. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cowdab, Kirk Welch

    I downloaded the paper from Brookings and had a fast trip through, just to align myself with fact and not continue the useless repetitions of political trope. It was, once again, disappointing to read the narrow-gauge 'argument' of a so-called 'liberal think tank' in broad daylight.

    Nowhere in the work is there any notable reference, or slyly-hidden-in-academic-speak, or any other form including parsal-tongue, to the obliteration of political conversation by the rude scream of money. The assumption seems to be that political process is somehow self-correcting, implying it is oblivious to external factor, that all there is to concern us is the immediate local process at one end of Pennsylvania Avenue, that the Congress actively represents the will of the (voting) population. This assumption is, to any with eyes or nostrils, false.

    I do not by this comment wish to be just another voice in the crowded wilderness crying for a rejection of the corruptions of money in our intimate systems. Of course that is necessity. What I mean to point out are the dual self-inflicted wounds of falling for the siren song of political yelling and ignoring the obvious. Until we face our real demons in daylight. nothing changes; the distractors who profit in confusion only grow stronger.

    The furnace of Affliction produces Refinement, in States as well as Individuals. John Adams, 1776.

    by semiAdult on Fri May 30, 2014 at 08:24:30 AM PDT

  •  hockey-stick graph starts in 1977 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PanoramaCityChick, Shawn87

    ...hmm who was inaugurated to President in 1977...
    It's never enough for these Conservative radicals, and their Overton skills are only helped by the deep-pockets like the Kochs, DeVos' etc.

    I like the irony that this GOP obstructionism is a hockey-stick - just like the one they complain about with global climate change.

    That and, we should not the shift of southern dems starting with the Depression and "aligning" with the slope of the Republican party spike in 1977...

    bonzo goes to bitburg should be required listening...

    by decitect on Fri May 30, 2014 at 08:24:33 AM PDT

  •  I would like to see a few old laws (0+ / 0-)

    overturned, as well as a few SCOTUS rulings before (just before) we start thickening the law books again. One can dream.

    I support application of Common Core Standards to Congressmen.

    by Wood Gas on Fri May 30, 2014 at 08:43:17 AM PDT

  •  No single liberal-conservative dimension (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mokurai, Shawn87

    You can't understand this problem if you conflate "social" issues, especially racism, with economic issues. Before the Civil Rights era, southern Democrats were progressive economically - some of the most important New Dealers were Democrats - but strongly racist. Those people switched parties and in exchange for support of racism by the Republican party gave up their economic progressivism and supported plutocracy, which was usually favored by Republicans. Obviously the stances of the two parties on racism switched and the stance of white southerners on economic matters switched and not to show this is a distortion.  The current extremist attitude of Republicans is a combination of plutocracy and racism, and this developed as white southerners and some northerners were switching parties.

  •  What is McConnel on? (0+ / 0-)

    We know Boehner is an alcoholic, but what's going on with the doped-up look that McConnel's eyes have in the pic?

  •  Enemy of the State (0+ / 0-)

    Mitch McConnel is in reality and enemy of the State. But of course the "rule of Law" that exists in the US cannot deliver. When McConnel goes before the court of Lucifer, he will plead for forgiveness. By then his a-s will be used for lighting the grill for such stars as Karl Rove, John Boner,Eric Cantor, Rush Limbo, Ann Hideous Legs,  and fellow whack jobs, One rotisserie, one apple, end of the line,turn right, 2 steps in front, one arm length.

  •  I signed the petition... (0+ / 0-)

    ...but I have zero confidence in petitions, emails and calls to our congressional representatives, who are nearly all bought and paid for.  The rich and the corporate industrial and military complexes dictate the direction of this country with misinformation and brainwashing through right-wing media and fundamentalist machines and A.L.E.C. and God knows what else.

    Still, I must to do something. I can't be just another sheep.

    What the people want is very simple - they want an America as good as its promise. —Barbara Jordan

    by Bendra on Fri May 30, 2014 at 10:30:35 AM PDT

  •  A Different Take (0+ / 0-)

    I have developed a different take on the gridlock. Gridlock happens because D's and R's think there are different problems to solve. They have few problems in common to solve when the country is not in war or extreme crisis.

    I think it is true that the parties have moved apart due to the fact that Republicans have gotten more ideological. I'm just not convinced that the gridlock is strongly correlated to that gap.

    You have R's thinking there is/was no real problem with our healthcare system, wealth inequality, income inequality, foreign policy, jobs, or guns; whereas the D's think the exact opposite. This is why nothing is getting done from a D's point of view but from the R's point of view things are going along swimmingly (nothing gets done because nothing needs to be done).

    It is also true that the parties usually disagree on the solutions to an agreed upon problem. This can cause limited short-term gridlock but solution side compromise will always happen. This is because both sides agree on the problem and are willing to have things 'get better' even if they don't get everything they want.

  •  Whenever I see that picture of (0+ / 0-)

    McConnell, my skin crawls.  He has cold dead eyes.  Very unnerving.  I was going to say reptilian, but that's an insult to reptiles who serve an important purpose.

    The GOP will destroy anything they can't own.

    by AnnieR on Fri May 30, 2014 at 12:54:40 PM PDT

  •  And today, a new report claiming that we are (0+ / 0-)

    on the brink of a 6th extinction, as Dr. Tyson has been warning us about.  The rate of species extinction is nearly 100 times greater than in the past.
    These selfish bastards can eat their filthy lucre as they drown in the polluted water and air that will no longer sustain life. (And take us all with them.)

    You all laugh because I'm different; I laugh because you're all the same

    by sajiocity on Fri May 30, 2014 at 03:55:38 PM PDT

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