Picture it as a boxing ring...
In one corner -- in the red trunks, of course -- is the Republican Party. It has demonstrated over the past 30 years a phenomenal disregard for the common man (and woman) and a corresponding high regard for corporations, businesses and unreasonable spending cuts.
In another corner -- in the blue trunks, obviously -- is the Democratic Party. It has demonstrated over the past 30 years a phenomenal ability to fight among themselves. The liberal wing of the Democratic Party resembles the Christian right of the Republican Party -- interested more in celebrating non-mainstream policies than in actually working to enhance its party.
In another corner -- in the black trunks, for now -- is the Tea Party. It has demonstrated over the past year or two a phenomenal ability to be angry, and nothing else. Its membership can be encapsulated into one sentence: "Get the government the hell out of my life." Noble, perhaps, but also shortsighted.
And in the final corner -- in multi-colored trunks, for now -- are a host of smaller parties all desperate for media attention and voters. They range from the Libertarian Party on the right to the Green Party on the left. Absent media attention, any attempt these parties make to become a relevant part of the political conversation is lost.
There you have it, America. And until we as a people demand -- and then follow through with those demands -- more from our parties and their politicians, the longer we will "enjoy" this sclerotic political situation.