A fine op ed by your man Greg Mankiw makes a series of points around which we are likely to agree. The country is spending too much money. The difference between what the government takes in and what it spends is, in the long term unsustainable. On this point he agrees with Krugman (as if Krugman would ever acknowledge same) that deficits are not a short term problem but a long term one. Ultimately (and here he channels WP Knabe), he points out that the money will have to come from somewhere, and that somewhere can only be the middle class.
What he, and most commentators don't talk about is the how we got here. At this point, as with the Israelis and Palestinians, extremists on both sides are controlling the argument. The Democrats have their lunatic fringe too, all the folks who believe we can go on spending what we're spending and that taxing the rich will pay for it. Meanwhile, as both you and I have lamented repeatedly, anyone with enough wherewithal to hire a lobbyist seems to have no difficulty drinking from the public trough. You are right about representative democracy. We get the government we deserve. You are also right about my pessimism about all this. In short, I am disgusted.