But in that shutdown, the article makes a case that Business as Usual is not working for the Conventional Political Parties.
The Democrats just keep looking for new funds to pour into the sinkhole; Republicans hope to starve the beast to force a crisis. Neither agenda will do much for Illinois. Democrats’ proposals stave off present pain at the cost of making the inevitable day of reckoning that much worse. Republicans bring on Armageddon now without any idea of what comes after. Voters are right to hold both approaches in disdain. They are right to be contemptuous of the party machines and the think tank apparatchiks who can’t come up with anything better. Until one or both parties develops workable approaches to the serious problems the country faces, politics is going to remain open to demagogues and con artists.The problem, dear reader, is that the liberals are the conservatives here, and the conservatives are the deconstructionists.
The liberal establishment is both politically and intellectually committed to the conservation of an unsustainable status quo. Republicans, on the other hand, instinctively loathe the redistributionist nanny state and intuitively perceive its growing dysfunction; they therefore have an easier time thinking about theoretical alternatives.We will know that the Policy Intellectuals are serious when they stop sitting around under pictures of D. C. landmarks offering their usual at-the-end-of-the-day-issues-people-care-about-bipartisan-compromise-consensus-process-comprehensive-reform-blah-blah and blah and when they get out among the people and see that there's more than a remnant at work trying a number of things, some of which might be applicable in your neighborhood.
This is why right-wing think tanks have on the whole done a better job at developing some creative ideas than their larger and better funded competitors on the left. But neither side has done enough. The budget problems at all levels of government are going to get worse as the pension bills come due, deferred maintenance and infrastructure deficits take a higher toll, health care costs inexorably rise, and as the institutions of blue model governance further corrode.
And of course behind the crisis of state and municipal governance, there is the broader problem of the crises of the American middle class and of American society. These are big problems and they require bold, unconventional thinking. We clearly aren’t getting enough of that today and the nation knows it. Establishment politicians leave the public unsatisfied; that opens the door to the quacks and the snake oil salesmen.