Jonathan Alter?s latest Newsweek column laments the disappearing chumminess within the U.S. Senate:

[W]e’re in an Era of Sour Feelings, when GOP obstruction and Democratic fears are stinking up the once clubby cloakroom. Cross-aisle friendships are almost nonexistent now. Whether the explanation is conservatives who are terrified that smiling at a liberal will bring a primary challenge from an unhinged tea-bagger, or the unintended consequences of ethics rules limiting convivial junkets, it’s on many a senator’s mind: the place is broken.

What?s the likely outcome of an absence of conviviality? A reduction in the amount of horsetrading, logrolling, and other shenanigans that create bad legislation? Less likelihood that Congress will take more of our money and restrict our liberty?

That sounds like a good outcome to me.

*Feel free to deduct points from this blog entry because of the headline’s gratuitous reference to one of Paul McCartney’s more annoying hits.