If politics is toxic now, you ain’t seen nothing yet. During the reign of St. Ronnie of Reagan, I used to think, “You know, politicians talk some serious shit these days.” But, Reagan was a kindly grandpa compared to the current lot. He may have done a lot of things that the country still suffers from, but he also managed to do some good. And the reason was that Congressional leaders were reasonable people who understood you had to drop the posturing and downright hatefulness at the end of the day and go play a round of golf with the other side.
Flash forward to Newt Gingrich, infant terrible of the right-wing. He came to office with an agenda to shake things up, but not in a good way. He paid the price with a short term, but went on to become the right’s idea of a one man intelligentsia — at least until Ted Cruz came along.
But Newt begat Tom DeLay who wasn’t called “The Hammer” for nothing. Since then there have been a long line of “leaders” from both parties with a penchant for spending a lot of time talking about what assholes the opposing party is instead of cooperating.