Michael Lind in Salon:
Starts out with this
Most Americans want Social Security to be strengthened and American manufacturing protected. But the conversation among elites inside the Beltway-New York bubble is about cutting Social Security and more one-sided "free trade" deals with mercantilist nations that, unlike the U.S., protect and promote their domestic industries.
Many Americans have come to the conclusion that nobody represents them in Washington anymore. They are right.
He goes on to discuss mass-membership organizations (e.g. unions) as the main reason why. Two weeks ago Frank Rich said Congress is disconnected from the American people, but gave a different explanation: big money in politics
Whatever the reason, there continues to be frustration by the typical voter with what's going on in Washington and it's not clear what will change that.
Rich and Lind are not so far apart, in my reading. Lind's piece speaks to the death of party structure and union clout and specifically notes the growth of big money interests to fill that void.
The constituency of national and, increasingly, local politicians is not their voters but the moneyed businesses and powerful people. This includes Obama.