Our republic was built largely through horse-trading over the past 2-plus centuries. Politics it seems has little to do with what's best for the country and the populace in general but more about what's best for my state back home. The recent health care debate is a prime example of how can I be bribed? Some of the payoffs are truly outrageous.
Politicians identify themselves with the Second Estate. They have privileges not known to the rest of us. They (Congress) has health care that is separate from the real world system. It's no wonder they can't agree on reform as they don't know what it's like to have to pay for a doctor. The same failings that led to the downfall of the nobility classes are the same failings of modern day politics.
Entrenched politicos have no basis in reality of those they represent. Every few years they come back home and shake hands and heads at the problems the common folk face and pledge to help. The only help they can offer is for them to get re-elected so they can live a soft life and run for re-election again in four years.
I would put it that Congress has not done anything of substance for nearly two decades. The system should work the same way the courts are set up. Each side strives to do their best and in the end justice prevails. But it doesn't work that way in the real world. The problems we face as a nation are the same ones we faced twenty years ago and many are only growing worse. Social Security is still in trouble as it's funds are systematically robbed for other purposes, the nation's debt is astronomically high, cities face a crumbling infrastructure and we still have the problem of being tied to energy sources we have no control over.
It's about time we either vote all politicians out of office and start over or only let them convene for four months a year as part-time servants of the people. That would give them about enough time to figure out where their offices are before they are forced to go home, get a real job and not do any more damage.