David Brook’s column this morning is a pretty good analysis of what happened to the promise of post-partisan governance we saw such a short glimmer of a while back. The short version is that after successfully putting the culture wars on the back burner, Obama’s necessary use of government powers to deal with the economic crisis triggered a resurgence of the old battle over the appropriate size of the government. Once this happened, the politicians all hunkered down into their assigned roles in that old conflict and focused on scoring points instead of accomplishing anything useful.
Andrew Sullivan followed this with a slightly more upbeat response. His point is that Obama hasn’t joined the fray on this and is eager to work with anyone who is willing to try to find a middle ground. This presents an opportunity for moderates to get their ideas to the table. Perhaps when the smoke clears on this current fracas we’ll have an opportunity to implement some of those ideas.