The New Patricians

During a recent PBS panel on Washington politics, This Town author Mark Leibowitz said our Founding Fathers were like the patricians of ancient Rome -- prosperous landowners who returned home as soon as their civic duties ended. Unlike the Founders, Leibowitz warned, our elected leaders in Washington today "have no intention of going back to the farm." There's too much money to be made in the halls of political power. Washington has long been a honeycomb for career politicians. Since 2006, however, that phenomenon has spawned a city state completely separated from the rest of the country. No matter how important an issue may be for the nation at large, members of congress now seem incapable of negotiation and compromise -- the essential catalysts of a working democracy. The executive branch is even more intransigent, not only refusing to negotiate such critical issues as the debt ceiling but openly threatening to "go around" Congress on everything from key White House appointments to...(Read Full Article)