Ezra Klein establishes some needed perspective for the “remember when Washington worked” punditry:
We’re not going to figure out a way to depolarize the parties. Whenever you think of the irenic Washington of the ’50s and ’60s, think about Strom Thurmond, one of the most ideologically conservative members of Congress, serving as a Democrat. The de-polarized parties of the mid-20th century were a historic aberration that had more to do with race scrambling our politics than anything else. They’re not coming back, nor should they. The most conservative members of Congress shouldn’t be in the Democratic Party, nor should liberals be in the Republican Party. Voters deserve a choice between two distinct political coalitions.
When you think that much of the comity in our nations capital was about ok’ing laws as long as minority groups could be excluded, I’m ok with polarization.