The Pundit Consensus: Gridlock Ahead in Washington

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: "What we know is that we're going to have gridlock.  Because we know you're not going to have large majorities. More likely than not, I think Republicans are going to be in charge of both. ... Two big political fights: the budget fight of 2011 is going to be what health care was to this year. The subfights: unlike Newt Gingrich, John Boehner does not speak for his caucus."  On the White House: "I think they're completely unprepared. They do not understand what's coming."

Charlie Cook: "There's not any element of the Democratic Party that's happy right now. Look at the unemployment levels among African Americans, among Latinos, among young people... and I think that you're going to have a huge differential in turnout. The House has an extremely likely probability to turn over. The Senate is more likely to be seven, eight, or nine. but could it be ten? Yes."  

Atlantic Media's Ron Brownstein: "In the largest sense, we are moving back where we were in a 50-50 nation, narrowly divided and intensely polarized. We have a system with all of its creaking and groaning, the administration was able to move an incredible amount of legislation... you've got a parliamentary system without majority rules. We're going to have a similar kind of dynamic with the argument starting from the other side. The Obama assumption was that the 2008 had discredited conservative government and discredited the market and thus the country was willing to accept a more activist Washington. Clearly, they underestimated how much the '08 collapse discredited government as well as business. McCain and Bush failed because they were not conservative enough, because they had moved away from the party's position particularly on spending. ... Any Democrats who has to win a lot of non-college whites is going to have a really hard time."

Bloomberg's Margaret Carlson: "You have the angry people and the sad people coming together and the only thing they care about is how...they only want someone who is not in there now. ... On the media's disconnected: "The recession is like the draft. Because we live in this cosseted, indulged almost pampered economy in Washington and New York, we don't feel the recession."

John King: "Name a person you know, who hasn't had to make a profound decision in their life because of the economic collapse, the mortgage crisis."


Full session below

Punditry closes the Washington Ideas Festival for 2010.

NBC's Chuck Todd

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Marc Ambinder is an Atlantic contributing editor. He is also a senior contributor at Defense One, a contributing editor at GQ, and a regular contributor at The Week.

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