I've been watching Washington politics and studying Congress for more than three decades and I have to say I have never seen it look more dysfunctional.
It's not political ideology that's causing the roadblocks. It's not principled disagreement either. It's fear itself: fear of a Democrat Party controlled future. That fear long ago reached crisis levels, resulting in increasing outbreaks of paranoia and hubris.
Accurately sensing that we're facing into an unprecedented conflagration, for years now my own party has reacted rather than responded to the challenges ahead of us.
But it has hunkered down instead of branching out, it has moved further to the right and rejected all talk of compromise, and worst of all it has assembled a circular firing squad (of sharpshooters) and then wondered why we can't find an electable presidential candidate?
The alarm bells have been ringing so loud and so long within the GOP that some on the outer fringes have already started calling for revolution or civil war. Obama is destroying the country and stripping our freedoms, they cry. We lost at the ballot box, we must pick up the musket. The trouble is we're firing on ourselves.
To here some on the right tell it, we really don't have a choice because we're suddenly facing into the rise of socialism, tyranny, fascism and behind that I suppose the zombie apocalypse. It's the insanity that comes from despair.
Oh, there's reason to be despondent. Obamacare is becoming the law of the land; traditional marriage is under daily attack; Christianity is likewise being assaulted, as as is our freedom of speech from the PC police; amnesty may soon be offered to illegal immigrants; children are being brainwashed by Hollywood and by our schools; taxes are being raised; job killing wage increases are being passed; gun control bills are popping up nationwide, the list goes on and on.
But worse by far is the looming specter of 2016 and the prospect of another eight years of the Clintons. Like Banquo’s ghost, here they come again to drive us all to distraction. Hillary Clinton finished her tenure as Secretary of State with stratospheric approval ratings, if anything she's an even stronger candidate now than in 2008.
New national polling from Quinnipiac University finds that Clinton would defeat every major Republican challenger by double digits. The Benghazi scandal hasn’t dented her appeal.
You might think, given this forecast, that I'd be downhearted myself. But I am no such thing. There is much reason to take heart. The chiefest one is that since the first Clinton era the left has looked and sounded a lot like the right. It's Wall Street and not the White House that is behind much of the legislation that drives our economy, after all.
Obama talks a good game about economic inequality but he has presided over one of the least interventionist administrations of the modern age. He's kept his hands off - and stayed out - as the markets recovered. His golden rhetoric gilded the lily as the corporate titans gilded the age.
So in losing the recent skirmishes we have in fact been winning the war. We would do very well to reflect on that. The future is conservative, we just have to remember how to get there.
Food & Drink
How to deal with an Irish favorite - cutting and peeling a turnip