Fox is much more conservative than MSNBC is liberal, and it has a much larger audience. Conservative talk radio continues to dwarf anything that exists on the left. Business has a "privileged position" in America's version of interest-group pluralism, and labor unions are weaker than ever. A large proportion of poor people are non-citizens who can't vote, and those who can vote have not only less money but much less social and cultural capital and thus the political system is almost entirely unresponsive to their needs.

These aren't "excuses" for bad behavior by elected officials, but they're reasons that progressives don't get what we want out of the political system. Changing these factors is going to take a long, hard slog.

-- Matt Yglesias