Having weathered eight years of absolute disaster under shrub, I (probably naively) "hoped" that we might actually get competence in governance under Obama. I didn't expect a whole lot, just a reasonably decent effort. I'm coming to the realization that wanting a "functional government" is actually "unrealistic idealism".
As a result of the Massachusetts election, health care reform appears to be dead for another generation. Not that the "reform" proposed was all that good; it wasn't. But it was at least an attempt, and (IMHO) better than doing nothing. The democrats (as usual) decided to surrender at the first sign of adversity, and the republican bullies are happy to strike at any weakness. Because of this, you can forget about getting any kind of meaningful legislation on financial reform, climate change, or jobs for the remainder of the Obama administration. Governing requires the courage to stand up for something; that courage is sorely lacking.
And, thanks to today's SCOTUS decision (see below), it's going to be almost impossible to elect better officials to replace our current jellyfish. We might as well let Goldman-Sachs appoint our next legislature and administration. They've bought the government, fair and square, so let them go ahead and run it.