Congressional gangland

What we’re seeing may be the formation of a regular gang system. In the past, moderate gangs — like the judicial Gang of 14 — have appeared or disappeared depending on the issue.

But exploding federal deficits are a galvanizing issue for those in the center. Concern over these deficits will influence every piece of domestic legislation. In the coming weeks and months, there will be housing legislation, another round of TARP bailouts, the budget debate, the health care and entitlement debates. In each case, the Moderate Gangs will occupy the crucial ground, even if the Democrats do wind up with 60 Senate votes…

Obama didn’t plan them. He didn’t create them. He isn’t yet leading them. But the gangs could be the big new fact in domestic politics. If nurtured and used creatively, they can be the lever by which Obama transforms the landscape of government and creates a broad postpartisan coalition.