New York Times columnist David Brooks in his column “Ryan’s biggest mistake” makes a point all would do well to keep in mind:
Ryan’s fantasy happens to be the No. 1 political fantasy in America today, which has inebriated both parties. It is the fantasy that the other party will not exist. It is the fantasy that you are about to win a 1932-style victory that will render your opponents powerless.
Every single speech in this election campaign is based on this fantasy. There hasn’t been a speech this year that grapples with the real world — that we live in a highly polarized, evenly divided nation and the next president is going to have to try to pass laws in that context.
It’s obvious why candidates talk about the glorious programs they’ll create if elected. It fires up crowds and defines values. But we shouldn’t forget that it’s almost entirely make-believe.
So, kids, come inauguration day, whether President Obama or Mitt Romney is swearing that oath, we are where we are and where we’ve been for far too many years — failing to work toward a consensus on matters big and small. Ryan’s biggest mistake, Brooks write, was working against the Simpson-Bowles deficit-reduction proposal.
Go ahead and pick your dream team in the game of fantasy politics, but just remember two sides will still be on the field.