Here's the blog post that got me to thinking about this issue. http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2012/09/republicans-and-47-case-study Kevin Drum traces the history of the earned income tax credit and the GOP. As you'll see, there was a time when each party cared about the poor, and they battled on the best way to help them. Ronald Reagan, as I'm sure most of the politigeeks here now, was a key driver in the expansion of the EITC. Then there's Obamacare. Again, most of us here are probably aware that Obamacare is not only a pretty close copy of Romneycare, but that Obamacare's grandfather is the 1990s conservative plan on health care. Again, there was a time in the not-distant past when Republicans recognized that the large and growing segment of the uninsured in the US were a policy problem to be fixed. There was a time within the last half dozen years when the mandate was Republican dogma, and for very good reason! A political system in which 2 parties more or less identify the same problems that need to be addressed, but have differing philosophies on how to address those problems, is a system that can work. (Although the now-de facto supermajority requirement in the Senate is a significant impediment.) It HAS worked. But a system in which one political party has gone so far off the deep end that the problem with poor people is NOT how to improve their lot in life, the problem with poor people is a) how to get them to have some skin in the game and b) how to ignore them otherwise; a political system in which to one party, our appalling combination of high health care costs and terrible health care outcomes is not a problem to fix, but a system in which we need to ensure that the winners in that system stay winners; a political system in which one party believes the proper response to an economic crisis brought on by the collapse of the financial industry is NOT to better regulate that industry, but instead the proper response is to figure out how to scapegoat a law passed 30 years earlier under Jimmy Carter, that is a political system that is incapable of solving our countries problems. Financial regulation and health care are big, big problems, and not easy for a political system to solve. And they're not any easier than redefining our security policy in an age of non-state actors. I mean, one party has a bizarre belief that our foreign policy should be subsumed to whatever is in Israel's interest. (The Democrats are scarcely better in large part because there's no benefit to being better on the issue. And also in large part because they kinda suck, too.) And fin-reg and health care are cakewalks compared to trying to close what appears to be permanent and huge budget deficits. Thoughts?