Is anybody actually watching the road?

Observing the 9/11 hearings, I’m struck by exactly how awful it is to have the process of election taking place at the same time as the process of governance . I understand the Democrats need and desire to prove to the electorate that they represent a superior choice to govern the country; this is all fine and good. But it is hard to watch the pile-on regarding the Bush administration’s failures prior to 9/11 and in Iraq without cringing at the focus on assigning blame, rather than on helping to find constructive solutions to better defend our country. Sometimes, it seems that the effect — and perhaps the actual goal — of partisan sniping is not simply to ensure that the other guy doesn’t get re-elected, but rather, to ensure that he is incapable of getting anything done during his remaining time in office.
This is of course the same complaint the Democrats made during the Lewinsky scandal, and the point was equally valid then.
I don’t have a solution to this problem, other than half-heartedly urging everyone to “play nice”. It seems a natural byproduct of a two-party system with free elections and an open press.
But damn, some days I think that our system of governance, and more to the point, elections, is roughly equivalent to stuffing two NASCAR drivers in the front seat of a speeding stock car and telling them to arm wrestle to see who gets to drive the next lap…