By Ruth Marcus
Washington Post Writers Group
Is the country condemned to another two years, at least, of gridlock?
The world-weary take on the midterm elections is an indifferent shrug. Whether Democrats control the Senate or Republicans, nothing will be accomplished anyway, this apathetic argument goes.
The Republican House will be unchastened. The Senate rules will continue to constrict, under Majority Leader Mitch McConnell or Majority Leader Harry Reid. President Obama has essentially given up on legislation; the remaining bricks in his legacy will involve executive action and foreign policy.Perhaps. Surely the era of even attempting the grand budget bargain is over. Legislative success is measured by the absence of complete irrationality — breaching the debt ceiling, hurtling over the fiscal cliff.And yet, maybe there are some pathways for more modest progress. Certainly, the appetite remains among lawmakers in both parties who increasingly wonder about the point of it all. No one takes pride in holding the 53rd vote to repeal Obamacare.