-- John Adams
Congressional approval ratings are an all-time low. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, has presided over an ineffectual term punctuated by the House's return to reason on FISA, its game of chicken over the Iraq war and other embarrassments.
Today's sour political climate is not solely anti-Republican. Amid soaring gas prices, plummeting home values and bank failures, this cycle also features a more general "throw the bums out" factor.
Why have House Republicans have failed to capitalize upon the failures of the majority's ineffectual leadership in such a climate?
No system of resource allocation is more efficient than pure competition. Competition causes new products, services, and technologies. This gives consumers greater selection and better products. The greater selection typically causes lower prices for the products compared to what the price would be if there was no competition (monopoly) or little competition (oligopoly).
Because there are few participants in this type of market, each oligopolist is aware of the actions of the others. This causes oligopolistic markets to be at the highest risk for collusion.
Consultants justify their fees by getting political candidates to do what they otherwise might not. In short, they guarantee in many cases that winning through manipulation is all that counts, for only then can they justify making their bucks.
The result is an increasingly stagnant political system, one apparently increasingly incapable of adapting to challenges.
Graph courtesy Center for Responsive Politics.