The political parties in this country really suck. I thought about trying to put that statement down in a more intellectual fashion, but sometimes simple is better. I know this isn’t exactly breaking news, by the way. Still, doesn’t it seem like things have gotten markedly worse this year? I cannot think of a legitimate reason to vote either Democrat or Republican other than to keep one side out of office.

The Republicans are getting ripped apart from within and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. Steve Bannon, along with the Mercer family dollars, is planning on running primary challengers against every Republican U.S. Senator up for re-election in 2018, except Ted Cruz of Texas. This is not necessarily a bad thing since we all know the GOP establishment is pretty much cancer. However, I haven’t been impressed with Ray Moore of Alabama, the Bannon-backed candidate who beat Mitch McConnell’s handpicked henchman Luther Strange down in Alabama. He’s paid lip service to aspects of the populist agenda that swept President Trump into the White House. The problem is he’s arguably a religious extremist who doesn’t believe in the separation of church and state. This is a huge red flag for me. Then if you read some of his more outlandish proclamations it’s hard not to conclude that the man is kind of a headcase.

And then there’s the unfortunate news that has come out that he allegedly had sexual contact with a 14-year-old in the 1970s. I have not seen any solid proof yet so I’ll hold off on that.

It’s nice to see McConnell have to eat shit sandwiches, but I hope Moore is not indicative of the rest of the Bannon crop of contenders.

This whole Republican civil war has also cost them the chance to rack up accomplishments in Congress. I said right here on this site back in the spring that they were wasting valuable time. Then, summer came and things went from bad to worse. The healthcare catastrophe has been well documented elsewhere, so there’s no need to go into every single procedural failure associated with that effort. But there were a lot. A whole lot. That debate sucked all the oxygen away from everything else. No wall, no infrastructure bill, no jobs program, not much action on trade (even though the White House has pushed that with NAFTA re-negotiations). This GOP Congress has put up the worst first-year effort in y lifetime. It’s utterly pathetic and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Democrats reap the rewards next year.

Speaking of Democrats, it’s not like they’re any better. The obsession with alleged Russian interference during last year’s presidential election is ridiculous. Do you know how many elections the United States has interfered with over the years? It would take an entire book to recount the details. Unless votes were tampered with, I don’t care. So far, there’s been exactly zero evidence of that.

Still, the Dems are coming out ahead right now simply because of how historically bad the Republicans have been. I will be absolutely shocked if tax reform gets done, but that’s about the only way they can recover. President Trump hasn’t exactly helped that effort much, but when you compare him to Congressional Republicans, he looks golden in comparison. The real problem we have here in this country is the intransigence and stagnation of the parties themselves. If we could somehow add 2 or 3 more to the mix then we might have a change of breaking out of this rut.

The chances of that happening are pretty slim though. We’re looking at yet another decade of decline unless things change on that front.