With its multitude of heads, the Hydra of Greek mythology must have faced internal dissension. How did it resolve basic questions such as whom to attack? Or perennial puzzlers such as whether Jerusalem is in Israel? In his "second labor," Hercules used his golden sword to slay the Hydra, so we will never know.
Our founding fathers were prescient in many ways, providing a system that had checks and balances designed to preserve liberty and ensure a peaceful and stable society. But the founding principle of this form of government is the consent of the governed. The gigantic role of money in our political system isn't what they had in mind.
We appear now to be in a period of perpetually slender majorities.The American Congress is more or less split and will still be after this November's mid-terms, regardless of the technical outcome. Maybe it's not about victory... or policy... Maybe we need the "great innovation" that works regardless of division.
Many have identified the weaknesses in Deresiewicz's jeremiad. In his forthcoming novel, Supreme Ambitions, David Lat, founder of the legal blog Above the Law, takes a different approach. What happens, he asks, to all those excellent sheep after graduation? His answer won't surprise many: The sheep get herded to law school.