“The Democrats are a clapped out, gut-free lobbyist machine. The Republicans are insane. The system is therefore paralyzed beyond repair.” That’s Andrew Sullivan, who has been right more often than many pundits in the Obama era, and also more patient and optimistic-ending many of his posts with the sign-off, “Know hope.” So it’s hard not to feel despair when, in the face of the Democrats’ stupid looming loss in today’s special senatorial election in Massachusetts, a loss he believes will leave the health bill “dead,” he writes
If America cannot grapple with its deep and real problems after electing a new president with two majorities, then America’s problems are too great for Americans to tackle. And so one suspects that this is a profound moment in the now accelerating decline of this country.
Please let him be wrong. It’s already so hard to get up every morning. For a slightly brighter outlook, you can check out the essay about the prospects of America’s future written by Sullivan’s Atlantic colleague James Fallows. It’s good. But it’s very long and dry, so here’s pretty much how it ends: “Our government is old and broken and dysfunctional, and may even be beyond repair,” Fallows writes. But, “Our only sane choice is to muddle through.”
America has been strong because, despite its flawed system, people built toward the future in the 1840s, and the 1930s, and the 1950s. During just the time when Frederick Law Olmsted designed Central Park, when Theodore Roosevelt set aside land for the National Parks, when Dwight Eisenhower created the Pentagon research agency that ultimately gave rise to the Internet, the American system seemed broken too. They worked within its flaws and limits, which made all the difference. That is the bravest and best choice for us now.
Okay then. Hey, at least the Shiba Inu Puppy Cam is back! I mean, that’s gotta be something, right?