Here is columnist David Brooks' discouraging forecast for politics in Washington, D.C., during the next two years: "We'll probably see gridlock on stilts. The energized Republicans will try to reduce the size of government, but they won't be able to get their bills past President Obama. The surviving Democrats will try to expand government programs, but they will run smack into a closely divided Senate and possibly a Republican-controlled House. Unable to do anything in the short term, both parties will devote their energies to nothing but campaign gestures for 2012. The rhetoric will fly. Childishness will mount. Public nausea will hit an all-time high."