has nothing been learned since the 1980's? There are now 2 ways to analyze politics. One looks at the politics of the object of discourse (modern). The other addresses the politics of the discourse (pomo).
Take the current deficit talks in DC. You could think all day about how to solve the deficit, count up the numbers, decide who to tax or what to cut.
Or you could think about the politics of the talk. Thus, who gains from the fear such talk create? Like the Prez. saying yesterday that he cannot guarantee Social security checks will be sent if the deficit issue is not resolved. In one swoop, the other party got deflated, no doubt as phone calls came in from scared seniors (who do vote by the way). That is just one example.
Overall, what this deficit talk does is reinvigorate official politics. The Prez., Congress, The Fed. all become important players again. You see, citizens' attention is less and less on them given Facebook or sheer survival needs today. So to get their attention back, the politicians scream ever louder. (The press loves it of course; more ad sales for their product).
So expect more drama, more kibuki dances, because the one thing that the official political world cannot stand is to be ignored as irrelevant to your life.