Think Washington is gridlocked today? Wait until January, when the new Congress takes over.
Bitterly polarized politics and an environment in which compromise is a four letter word promise even more paralysis when the next Congress convenes and President Obama starts the second half of his term with even more Capitol Hill tsuris.
For a particularly bleak assessment – but probably an accurate one – check out this Washington Post analysis.
“Republicans are poised to make potentially significant gains in both the House and the Senate, but even the most confident among them is predicting that they’ll come away with a narrow majority,” Paul Kane writes. “If Democrats maintain power, they, too, will have a slim advantage and will face a revived and emboldened opposition.”
And liberals and conservatives alike will be reacting to angry messages from their core constituencies – meaning that they’ll be even less willing to compromise.
What this means for Jewish organization: a whole list of long-deferred domestic priorities will be deferred some more. It means no solutions to the problems faced by key entitlement programs like Medicaid and Medicare, a major concern of Jewish health and social service agencies around the country.
And it means there’s little chance the Democratic administration and a more Republican Congress will come to terms on reducing the huge budget deficit while maintaining key services and doing what needs to be done to stimulate a lagging economy.
I’m looking for the bright spot in this dark picture, but I sure don’t see one.