We may be at an interesting inflection point.
–Large majorities have had it with Congressional dysfunctionality.
–Influential Republicans like Mitch McConnell are recognizing the above and view it as a threat to their party.
–The latest debacle—the fight to extend UI and the payroll tax cut—appear to have demonstrably hurt the Rs and helped the Ds (especially the President), and one might expect that ensuing fights will redound similarly, i.e., the public appears to be internalizing the meme that the D’s are fighting for the middle class while the R’s are fighting for the rich. Politically, this is a dangerous possibility for R’s, especially in an election year.
Don’t get me wrong—I’m not suggesting a Kumbaya moment is in the offing. There are still irresistible forces in play here; the tea party members of Congress are, I suspect, if anything, even more pissed off and ready to wreck more havoc when they get back. A wounded tiger is a dangerous tiger.
The R candidates are also busy fanning these flames.
But these forces of negativity can only breathe if they have the oxygen of public and media support. If they become widely viewed as a small, angry minority selfishly blocking the rest of us from the pragmatic approach to meeting the challenges we all face, they will become increasingly ignored and irrelevant.
Kind of like what Bob Dylan was talking about here.
We thus may look back at this moment as one when the hyper-partisanship undermining our democracy began to crack. Or not. Either way, you can read about here in the pages of OTE.
Happy Christmas and Seasonally Adjusted Greetings!