Send Washington Post writer Peter Whoriskey money, flowers, gifts for this excellent story

Peter has a terrific story on how money separates our lawmakers from the rest of us and, at the same time, opens an equally wide partisan gulf.

Read every word of this, and add your thoughts to the Comments section of his story, or write the Post an LTE. Or, heck, just email congrats to Peter at whoriskeyp@washpost.com. You will need, if you’re not already registered w/the Post, to sign up for free access to the whole thing.

Worth particular note is this passage:

About a decade ago, academics studying the effect of income inequality on politics noticed a striking fact: The growth of income inequality has tracked very closely with measures of political polarization, which has been gauged using the average difference between the liberal/conservative scores for Republican and Democratic members of the House. The scores come from a database widely used by academics.

“The proximity of these trends is uncanny,” according to a 2003 paper by researchers Nolan McCarty, Keith T. Poole and Howard Rosenthal. “Remarkably, the trends of economic inequality and elite political polarization have moved almost in tandem for the past half-century.”

UPDATE – The New York Times follows suit this morning. And Slate weighs in, as well.

The huge imbalance of wealth in our country damages our democracy, period.

Later,

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