Wednesday, October 23, 2013

New Facing in DC, Inside and Out

“I cannot even stand to look at you," a GOP House leader told the President during negotiations over the Shutdown.

According to Sen. Dick Durbin, Tea Party zealots “say President Obama just doesn't try hard enough to communicate with Republicans. But in a 'negotiation' meeting with the president, one GOP House Leader told the president: 'I cannot even stand to look at you.' What are the chances of an honest conversation with someone who has just said something so disrespectful?"

Durbin’s Facebook post dramatizes just how personal, bitter and, yes, racist the Washington impasse has become.

But in a darkest-before-dawn way, there are signs that next year’s elections could lighten the atmosphere.

Insiders now see seven GOP senators vulnerable to primaries, and even Utah’s Mike Lee, who is not on the ballot until 2016, is being scalded back home with business leaders questioning his chances for reelection.

Scaffolding will go up at the Capitol dome next week to repair “more than 1,000 cracks and deficiencies like stains and rust” that have undermined the structure over past 50 years.

That will serve as an apt metaphor for the work ahead to undo the internal rot that has been eating away there since Barack Obama became the first African-American to occupy the White House less than five years ago.

The Washington infrastructure needs all kinds of new facing.

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