I’ve often lamented the prospect of a world without my parents’ generation, not because they were perfect but because these mothers and fathers take with them a national treasure — their personal experiences and memories of The Great Depression and World War II and the lessons of sacrifice, thrift, courage and duty that defined them.
In their place, we have a bickering, twittering, snarling, snarky, toxic public square that has contaminated even our highest offices. How surreal it must seem to our oldest and wisest citizens to witness the breaking bad of America.
Tying the defunding of Obamacare to the shutdown was folly, which sensible House Republicans knew even as they ignored their better judgment. Even so, the White House and Democrats seem determined to prove their own toughness by punishing the least-deserving.
As we approach the next battle over the debt ceiling, would that all of Washington remember the rule of the savvy negotiator: Always leave your opponent an exit.
Kathleen Parker is a columnist with the Washington Post Writers Group. She can be reached at email@example.com.