This interesting article in the Washington Post by Bill Eggers and John O'Leary lays out some of the challenges associated with getting big things done in government. After noting a number of historical successes, from the Marshall Plan to putting a man on the moon, the piece notes the widespread view that Washington today is broken, that our government isn't up to the challenges we face.
As the authors note:
"It's easy to look at Washington today and conclude that our political class is too partisan and polarized for anything to work, that the spirit of cooperation that allowed us to win World War II and defeat communism is a relic of a distant age and a long-abandoned culture. Such cynicism is easy, whereas fixing the problem is hard. But it is not too late to recognize that once again democracy is on trial and that our dysfunctional governing process is every bit as menacing to our future as external enemies."
In DC and at the state and local level, the problems we face today are significant. But there is no reason why we can't improve. This site and others show that good ideas, well executed, can make a positive difference.