Dana Milbank in the WaPo on dysfunction in Washington. Now, I absolutely disagree with anybody that claims that Washington is more dysfunctional now than it has been in the past. People used to beat and shoot each other in the Capitol and that doesn’t happen anymore. Washington is tamer, if anything, than it was 100 or 200 years ago. And, we don’t have crackpot conspiracies being posited by our Commander in Chief. Washington is what it is and it’s not worse than it has been and it’s better than other places (which isn’t to say that it’s good; I’m just saying that the dysfunction is “normal”).

But if the moderates are leaving, will they be replaced? If so, then business as usual. If not, then we might go from a (presumably) single model, bell shaped curve of “political idealism” (for lack of a better term; and the “ideal” here is what voters vote for, not ideal in any rational sense of the word) to a bi-modal extreme form of “political idealism”. Again, this is the voters doing, not the politicians (though redistricting might have something to do with it; but again, that’s ultimately the voters fault). So what’s going to happen if we do get an extremist, bi-modal distribution? Will it be better or worse than the bell curve? Of course, it’s not clear what we currently have. The only thing that’s clear is that in America there are a lot of different views about how the governors should govern the governed. Maybe we already have the bi-modal distribution. Just wondering aloud here…

I actually think having an extreme bi-modal distribution would be a good thing. Neither side would want the other to ever enact the tyranny of the majority. It would be a legislative standoff and we might actually get strong constitutional enforcement against the tyranny of the majority. It would be a political Cold War. And the great thing about the Cold War is that pretty much nobody got hurt. Psychologically, yes, but physically not so much. If the moderates leave this could be the great rebirth of the Constitution. That would be a good thing.

-JD Cross