The Senate doesn’t do it on purpose, but it begins every day by acting out a drama in three parts and with the moral arc of a Shakespeare tragedy.

Act one is a prayer. Barry C. Black, the Senate’s chaplain, asks God for unity, wisdom and cooperation, pleading for the Senate in a voice as slow and solemn as a hearse.

Act two is the pledge. Lawmakers from both parties both pledge allegiance to the flag of one nation, indivisible.

Act three is the plot twist. After all the talk about unity and cooperation, the leaders of both parties stand up for their part of the morning ritual.

Which is denouncing one another as enemies of progress, abusers of the public trust, and raw sewage in the great river of American ideas.

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