It's a major victory. The shutdown's ending, the government isn't defaulting (at least not yet), and Democrats didn't yield in the face of threats and bullying. But what happens next could shape our fate for many years to come.
So Democrats may have to come up with a new narrative. They can not flourish by promising to be the party that raises taxes and makes cuts to popular programs, even if they succeed in inheriting the Republican's former mantle as the party of fiscal responsibility.
With talk radio almost uncontested, too many of today's conservative talkers take advantage of the fact that if you tell a lie big enough, people will believe it. Is it any wonder that large numbers of Americans still think the president is a Muslim or a foreigner or worse?
You'd expect to get plenty of meaninglessness from a two-hour event featuring 10 yappers skilled at yapping. How could a panel of 10 normal people converse intelligently in such a setting, much less 10 talk-radio hosts?
We've just learned about the Federal Reserve's extraordinary secret bailout of the country's big banks. How much outrage is required before people demand rigorous bank reform, strong regulation, and criminal investigations?
Thom Hartmann's Rebooting the American Dream is full of substance, and nicely written to boot. It gives off that rare and somewhat old-fashioned aroma of genuine concern for the country's good, as opposed to pie-in-the-face partisanship.
No wonder the conventional wisdom in Washington holds, without evidence, that the United States is a "center-right" country. Those making that argument might not be real, informed commentators -- but they play them on TV.