How bad were Bush and his team that these radicals were allowed to hijack this government and no one's willing to stand up to them? The answer is they were pretty bad and in a lot of ways.
It used to be said politics in America was played between the 40-yard lines. What has changed is while the population remains between the 40s, the political classes are in the respective red zones, no pun intended. The dynamics of the long primary seasons, gerrymandered districts and too-expensive campaigns have pushed the political classes to where their interests and those of the citizenry do not align.
Moves such as the EPA's declaration on carbon dioxide and the rush to pass some ill-considered health care legislation smack of a government preying upon rather than serving its citizens. This is not a formula for long-term growth or prosperity.
Bill Clinton, for all of his faults, recognized he had to move back to the middle; this was his famous "triangulation" policy. But Clinton was only a true believer in Clinton; the present crowd seems to be filled with true believers, just as the Bush crowd had its people with an agenda.
What is amazing about all of this is the Constitution as designed and amended tried to force everything into the middle. This will tell you something about how hard the political class has had to work to achieve these consecutive administrations out of touch with the people and from two different directions....