I completely agree, jgw, with your last post. Neither of the protagonists were even close to "right" in their analysis, in my view. They spent so much time defining labels for themselves and others, and really missing the obvious. For example, our Constitution is obviously designed with both "socialist" (e.g., general welfare) and "capitalist" (various freedoms "From" and preserving property), or at least "libertarian" elements. Paying attention to that, and the balance of powers within the document, would go a long way toward solving our problems.

Neither the Senate nor the White House are representing "The people's" interests. The House I am more hopeful of, with some, if not a substantial number, of Republican Representatives willing to do their jobs. Tactics may be more important, right now, than positions, although there are some policy issues that need to be immediately addressed in a multi-partisan fashion, like immigration and economic/tax reform. As pessimistic as I am, I have a glimmer of hope that the debacle of the shutdown might concentrate the minds of legislators to do their jobs. Impeachment may be the next major hurdle to restoring sanity to government, although the pollution of the judiciary may obviate much of that sanity, e.g., the Texas ACA ruling. We have to take responsibility, as citizens, for the mess we've allowed politics to get us into.