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In Congress, Christmas is a time of giving—and receiving

The one bipartisan thing on which both Democrats and Republicans agree: at holiday time a little something tucked away in legislation in exchange for campaign largesse is the greatest gift of all. 

Writing in last Monday’s Washington Post, Greg Sargent noted that all that inertia on Capitol Hill has been caused “less by a roughly equivalent failure by both major parties to make the incremental concessions needed to reach common ground, and more by a searing intra-GOP argument over whether the Republican Party should make such concessions to reach the common ground that has always been sitting right there in plain sight . . .”

Citing Ryan Lizza’s superb analysis of the right-wing House Freedom Caucus in The New Yorker last week, Sargent writes that the radical caucus members believe, “Republicans lose ground when they govern along with Democrats, because achieving bipartisan governing compromise inherently represents capitulation to Dems, in the sense that when government functions, it affirms the Dem vision.”

It’s really a profound pity—tragic, in fact, and deadly dangerous to democracy. In an alternative universe, I could see senators and House members racing home to spend holiday time with friends and family, drinking hot cocoa with peppermint sticks, making snow angels and redistributing their campaign contributions to the poor. Instead, they will spend much of the off time plotting on behalf of or against the lunacy of the right (refueled each day by Fox, talk radio and a hyperventilating Trump, Cruz, Carson and Rubio) while hitting up donors and listening to their requests for all the favors expected in return. Even Santa couldn’t keep track of their list.

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