For several years now I have been of the opinion that the American political system is broken.  I attribute that brokenness to three primary factors:  partisanship, polarization, and a wholesale disregard of reality by Americans in addressing the serious issues that confront the country.  We witnessed that brokenness, on all three fronts, in spades yesterday.  The fringe outnumbered the pragmatists.  If there was a plus, we now have a list of those who can sometimes be trusted, as well as one of those who apparently cannot ever be. 

I am going to post three initial items today that I think capture a sense of what transpired yesterday.  A good starting place is Dana Milbank’s column in the Washington Post entitled A House Divided Along Twisted Lines.  An excerpt:

The Dow Jones industrial average closed down 778 points, the largest one-day point drop in history. And no wonder: In the Congress of the United States, the insane are now running the asylum.

After the shocking vote of 228 to 205, party leaders did their usual rounds of partisan finger-pointing, but it really wasn’t a partisan issue at all. The center had collapsed in favor of a coalition of far-right and far-left zealots. What was once the lunatic fringe was now a majority: 40 percent of House Democrats, going by yesterday’s vote, and fully two-thirds of Republicans.