This story about Congressional gridlock warms my heart.

This us-against-them mentality has been an ongoing storyline of the new Democratic­-controlled Congress. On the big items — Iraq, health care and spending — party leaders have shunned compromise.

Democrats are under tremendous pressure from liberal activists to take a hard-line approach against everything Bush. Republicans face similar pressure from their own base to stick with the president and prove they are serious about curtailing spending, even if it means less cash for a popular state-run health care program for children not covered by Medicaid. ...

The partisan deadlock is also creating more problems for the new majority. Rank-and-file Democrats have turned on their leaders this fall in a series of minor upheavals, forcing them to suspend consideration of bills to update warrantless wiretapping laws, reclassify the killing of ethnic Armenians almost a century ago, expand workplace protections for gays and lesbians and require all electronic voting machines to produce paper records.

Republicans, meanwhile, have done everything in their power to slow the legislative apparatus with the few procedural tools available to them.

It is possible, though unlikely, that the survival instinct will eventually force a behavioral change in the new Congress. Neither side wants a government shutdown, so it is likely they’ll cut a budget deal — even though conservatives are bracing for a showdown.

And to think that most people use "do-nothing Congress" as a pejorative!

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