Rich Galen

The state failed him, the city failed him, the bank failed him, his employer failed him and the school district failed his child.

And this is just one guy who never did anything wrong from Muncie, Indiana.

The second piece was by Pulitzer Prize winning writer Tom Friedman. It was titled, "Down with Everything" in which he raised the question:

”Has American gone from a democracy to a "vetocracy" - from a system designed to prevent anyone in government from amassing too much power to a system in which no one can aggregate enough power to make any important decisions at all?"

Class Assignment:

Compare and contrast Friedman's "vetorcracy" with Fournier/Quinton's America whose "social pillars are ill-equipped for the 21st century."

Friedman points to "the Internet, the blogosphere and C-Span's House and Senate coverage" as having made "public posturing the 24/7 norm."

I'm not certain he's arguing for a return to the "good old says" of the senior male members of the House and Senate (along with senior male members of the press corps) getting together for cigars, port and who-knows-what-all to cut secret deals at their private Georgetown clubs.

Friedman argues that we have to get back to a time - not a fictional time when there was no government oversight or intrusion in private life - but when the government's role was

"Maintaining the rule of law, promulgating regulations that incentivize risk-taking and prevent recklessness, educating the work force, building infrastructure and funding scientific research."

We are caught in a downward spiral of dysfunction, disillusionment, and distrust.

They're calling my flight. I want our national garage to look a lot better by the time I get back next weekend.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at