I've been enjoying Juliet Eilperin's reasonable and careful explanations of why official Washington is so screwed up. Her HuffPo entries ring true but I wonder this: her book ("Fight Club Politics") details how acrimony and bitter conflict now make the House of Representatives largely useless as an institution. Looking at most commentary on her posts (and suffering a few recent scars myself on the issue of 'net neutrality') I wonder what kind of conversations folks have when they aren't screaming at each other on the web or elsewhere? You can see in blog commentary lots of great huffing and puffing that will get you to exactly 38% of the electorate. I don't see a lot of useful dialogue on how to get winning coalitions together that can win more than 50% in closely contested elections. As Juliet says, that is one reason we have gerrymandered safe districts and few contested races. It's also why we have lots of feel-good rants on the web and not enough dialogue about how to win close elections. I take this as a sign that I am getting old, but also that some newcomers in politics will need to get knocked around and lose a few before they understand that winning politics is not as easy as they think.