I understand the reflexive establishment posture, which suggests partisan observations are necessarily wrong, but consider recent events: the fiscal talks have broken down because Republicans won’t compromise and accept meaningful concessions; the farm bill and the Violence Against Women Act are stuck because Republicans won’t vote on them; efforts to reduce gun violence face extremely long odds because Republicans are beholden to the NRA; a U.N. treaty on disabilities was killed because Republicans believed extremist conspiracy theories; the process of filling President Obama’s second term cabinet is stalled because of Republican smear campaigns; and another debt-ceiling crisis is underway because Republicans are threatening to hurt Americans on purpose unless Democrats pay a steep ransom.

It’s not “both their fault.” One side is being reasonable; the other side is being nihilistic. One need not be partisan or biased to see what is plainly true.