For me the most distressing aspect of American politics over the last 30 years is the realization that the Washington Establishment really does rule the country no matter which party holds the White House or Congressional majorities.
Progressives suffered through 12 years of Republican presidents after Reagan’s election only to realize that the election of Bill Clinton changed nothing. The military budget didn’t shrink, deregulation of business oversight continued apace, alternative energy strategies sat on the shelf. Now we have to suffer through watching Larry Summers and Tim Geithner lead Obama down the primrose path to disaster while the financial elites take home record bonuses.
As some of our correspondents have suggested that the split we may be seeing is not between liberals and conservatives, but between insiders and outsiders–the establishment vs the people.