When the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution, they seemed to have built it on two central planks: that political power would be shared among ten or so political parties for all time forward, and that by giving mechanisms to amend the Constitution, all would see it was not meant to be cast in stone.
To those gentleman, it was considered that bipartisan compromise would be at the heart of every political decision, and no one group would ever be able to dictate to the rest. Even the somewhat curious Electoral College method of choosing a president is to prevent massive support for one candidate in a small number of States being able to overcome smaller, but much more widespread support for a rival in many more States.
To have. what is in effect, a two party system was outside their conception, and the thought that the country could face economic ruin by a caucus within a caucus never occurred to them.
It never crossed their minds that a congressman would ever give more weight to a "declaration" given to a lobbyist ten years ago would now be of more importance than serving in the country's best interest.
It is my view that if they could see what was now happening, they would be the first to demand the Constitution be rewritten in some manner to stop it continuance.
But we love our Constitution, and even its prior amendments are now etched in stone to such an extent that people who opine that we might want to revisit the Second Amendment are immediately tarred and feathered with the accusation of being "Unpatriotic".
So - how do we really get out of our current mess.
Logically, the arrival of substantial third and fourth political parties would enhance the prospects of breaking deadlock: but America is now so dualistic in political views, it is hard to see what new parties could offer that the two main parties do not. And gaining widespread public support requires the reversal of a trend that is now 200 years old.
Well - what if a group of members from both parties struck a deal to seek bi-partisan solutions to problems and force their viewpoint on the rest of the two houses?
Even as recently as December 2012 that was a non-starter by any realistic analysis of the situation. Both houses were still comprised of so many white males, with deeply ingrained partisanship, that making bi-partisan deals had gone the way of the dodo. The new way had become "my way or the highway and to hell with what is good for our country'. (Not in those exact words; it is more often phased: "My way is the only way that is good for the country, therefore I cannot compromise")
So what happened in January 2013 that may have changed the landscape again? The arrival of more women. there are now 20 female senators, and 80 congresswomen.
The 20 senators are on record as stating that they have quarterly luncheons to discuss legislative problems, and to actively seek bi-partisan solutions to solve them. If they wish to be, they can become the driving force of the senate: get the women to side with you on any issue, and you have a majority to carry the day. And if not, your idea is not going to make it. Even if you cannot face doing a deal with the opposing party, by doing a deal with the ladies you are talking to at least some who belong to your own party.
The House of Representatives is less clear cut: 80 congresswomen seem a substantial force: but 61 of them are Democrats, and are therefore in the minority column. The other 19 are republicans, and even though the Tea Party now seems to be a spent force, there is enough lead parachute effect to stop all those 19 siding with their female colleagues across the aisle. It is not impossible for the 19 Republican ladies to side with their democrat partners from time to time, it is just that the math is far less equitable. If the mix had turned out to be 61 Republican ladies and 19 Democratic ones, then they would have had the power to be play makers on every single decision...
Nonetheless, there is hope. Two centuries of white male domination seems to be coming to an end, and the recent partisanship - probably based on an excess of testosterone - now has a huge counter-wedge in place, at least in the Senate.
If the good ladies in the Senate show their colleagues, male and female, in the House of Representatives, that bi-partisan is not only what the Founding Fathers expect, it often results in the best of all possible worlds.
And - in two years time - we the electorate may see the wisdom of packing congress with a large influx of females to engender the new way of thinking on that body as well.
Should you be lucky enough to be represented by a lady in either house, giving her constant feedback by email or other communication, that bi-partisanship guarantees your continued support, you could be part of bringing about an unthinkable miracle: a legislature that works to solves problems, not make political gains,