During breakfast with some old friends, I had a minor epiphany about the mess in Washington. Think about the Middle East. For decades, the region was dominated by a handful of strongmen who ruled with an iron fist. In Congress, the leadership and a handful of senior committee chairmen ran things with an iron fist. It wasn’t very democratic, but shit got done. Then in the Middle East and in Congress, the strongmen were cast aside. It was hoped that democracy would flourish. Instead, we reverted to bitter power struggles between long-suppressed rival groups. And there’s no end in sight.