What was once arguably the most dysfunctional state legislature in the country (and we say arguably only because California makes a pretty good run for that dubious distinction) has actually been somewhat effectual as of late, passing a budget on time and even coming to a compromise on an issue as controversial as same-sex marriage.
But right now the political situation in Washington suffers from the same issues that plagued Albany just a couple of years ago: Republican leadership that is more concerned with its political survival than actually solving the issues they were elected to solve and a soft leader in the top position of the Executive Branch.
The agreement to raise the debt ceiling that was reached over the weekend does nothing to address the larger issues that are causing the nation's economy to go down the tubes. That is due in large part to a handful of spineless Republicans who have come under the sway of the Tea Party movement, a group that seems hellbent on dragging down not only the U.S. economy, but the world economy as well, with its short-sighted views.
Tea Party members claim that the budget is being balanced on "their backs." Well, of course it is. And everyone else's They - and we - are the country and it is our - and that means all of us - economy. You can argue about the way the country got into this mess, but it doesn't make any sense to now take the position that it is not our responsibility to get our country out of its economic woes. Their anger should be directed at the politicians who let it get this far, not trying to strong arm the politicians who are now trying to come up with a way to solve the problem.
But reason is not a strong point of Tea Party members.
And neither do the Democrats escape without blame. If they really do have a plan - no matter how painful that plan may be - they have not done a good job of selling, or explaining, that plan to the American public. And that was the job of Barack Obama. In this case, he failed in his leadership.
No, neither party looks good in this mess, which was exactly the case in Albany not too long ago when constituents became disgusted with their state representatives on both sides of the aisle. Perhaps this whole budget mess and the public's overall dissatisfaction will have a transforming effect on Washington, and strong leadership and compromise will be the order of the day instead of petty political quibbling.