There is no question that Washington, D.C., has become one big dysfunctional family. Rated by legislation passed, the current Congress is on track to be the least productive since World War II. A poll in 2013 judged cockroaches and hemorrhoids more popular than Congress. The partisan gridlock tightens as urgent problems go unaddressed, snowballing into bigger problems in the future.
History tells us that the current paralysis is not unprecedented, but it is the worst since 1879, according to Nolan McCarty, Keith Poole and Howard Rosenthal, authors of Polarized America. In the 20th century, they documented a trend of increasing harmony between the parties from the Great Crash of 1929 until the mid-’70s—then increasing polarization until the present day. Cockroaches and hemorrhoids.