A common respect for the rule of law, fortified by a media which actually does its job and investigates corruption, can weather the back and forth of partisan governance. By contrast, the view that laws are mere reflections of whichever archons happen to be in control—and that the Left’s archons are on the side of light, opposing conservative darkness—erodes any sense that the law is accessible to all parties. When the losing party wakes up to that reality, that’s when the fun begins.

Several years ago—I think it was during the Obamacare debates, when Democrats were doing all their “sausage making” shenanigans—I was at a red light at the end of my road. The light is unbearably long. No one was coming from either direction.

I said to myself, “F*** it,” and turned left on the red light. At that moment the red light became an icon of everything I was coming to hate about government: a coldly mechanized totem of inefficient government management, pretending to be the height of rational governance.