Fallows has a must-read on the profound problems of the US constitutional system when the opposition party simply votes no on everything as a bloc. It's hard to come up with a better sense of the dynamic than this actual conversation that took place over the stimulus package:
"GOP member: 'I'd like this in the bill.'
"Dem member response: 'If we put it in, will you vote for the bill?'
"GOP member: 'You know I can't vote for the bill.'
"Dem member: 'Then why should we put it in the bill?'
Read the whole thing.