I don't know quite what his complaint is. But, Terry, with metronomic regularity, we go through these moments in Washington where we complain about the government being broken. These moments all have one thing in common. The left is having trouble enacting its agenda.
No one, when George W. Bush had trouble reforming Social Security, said, oh, that's terrible; the government's broken.
HUFFINGTON: Well, actually, what we do with metronomic regulatory -- I like that phrase -- is complain about partisanship. That is one of the most ludicrous complaints.
WILL: Hear, hear.
HUFFINGTON: Every major milestone in American history has been won after a major, protracted and partisan battle. Go back to the Emancipation Proclamation, the 19th amendment, the New Deal, Medicare, Social Security, the Voting Rights Act. These were big partisan battles. One of them involved the Civil War.
And so the idea that somehow we can all come to the middle and do what, free half the slaves, or free them from 12 to 5?
You know, these are major issues that people have very definite differences on.
MORAN: But the country is in the great muddled middle, basically. All polls show, on most issues, they'd like some compromise.
HUFFINGTON: That's not true at all. That's not true at all. Even the despised public option has 70 percent behind it. Nate Silver just crunched the numbers last week. The jobs bill has -- the $100 billion jobs bill, not the $15 billion jobs bill in the Senate, has 70 percent of the people behind it.
The idea that the -- we are in a mushy middle is simply a media invention.
DOWD: Well, I think Senator Bayh obviously made his own personal decision that he didn't want to be here anymore, for whatever reason that is. To me, that's not a solution to the problem. Adults don't leave the playground and leave to it the kids to -- if he believes he's an adult and he can do this, walking off the playing field and not being part of trying to solve the problem isn't a solution to the problem.
I actually think one of the difficulties we're in -- I don't think it's an institutional problem. It's not the Senate rules and it's not how the president operates and all of those sorts of things.
It is leaders that are willing to take on elements of their own party. We have to have leaders that are willing to, sort of, confront their own party, whether it's Republicans confronting Republicans or Democrats confronting Democrats, and saying, just because it's got a D by its name doesn't mean it's necessarily the right solution, or just because it's got an R by its name doesn't mean it's the right solution.
Civil rights is a perfect example. Democrats, throughout the history of civil rights, sought to kill civil rights, throughout the whole -- throughout the whole thing.
MORAN: Until the 1960s.
DOWD: Until the 1960s, until Republicans, who cast more votes on behalf of civil rights legislation to get it done. But in the end, some Democrats -- LBJ had to take on elements of his own party and risk political problems, which he did.
MORAN: And President Obama really isn't doing that.
BRAZILE: I think President Obama is leading. But, unfortunately, you have a Republican Party that has decided that, by saying no, they could, you know, perhaps gain more at the polls this coming fall.