Comments of the Day:
"Mr. Toobin, I'm sure there were some folks who thought it was just healthy discussion back in 1861, too."–Delta75
"Very well-written article. It was never the role of government to come up with solutions. It's not designed to do so. It's only role was to protect rights. It's trying to do way too much!"–harrytubman
Stubbornness and lack of wit are not the cause of conflict between Democrats and Republicans, writes CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin. They disagree because they have "profound ideological differences" over whether government can be a "useful social engine to protect the environment, help the poor and build the economy." And this conflict, he writes, is part of democracy.
Some CNN.com readers disagreed that the present conflicts are a sign of healthy democracy. The rest argued over political ideology.
mooseman316 said, "What an insipid piece of claptrap. Conflict is a flaw; overcoming conflict is what our government is all about. We are not overcoming anything and that is the flaw in the system."
hippediva said, "Conflict? I think he means compromise, a word all the idealogues forgot long ago when they learned to bully their way to 'victory,' even if it means breaking the whole to satisfy the very few."
klur said, "I think that the debt ceiling debacle is a prime example of our government not working. Yes, controversy serves a purpose in a democratic government, but when there is complete obstruction of every piece of legislation proposed, the government is NOT WORKING."
1jstaffo said, "It's one thing to disagree yet compromise (many presidents and Congresses have done so); it's another to do nothing, which is what we currently have: nothing getting accomplished."
boogle said "At the end of the day, it is the duty of both parties to come up with a compromise that *most* but not necessarily all people can live with. Yes, debate is necessary but it is not the goal. There are too many conservative and liberal organizations influencing government when it's supposed to be 'for the people.'"
jboHDrider said, "Toobin is out there flapping. The reason that the govenment is broken is because the parties are pandering to special interests and not legislating to the will of the people."
maggiemom asked, "If this is just healthy debate, why are the GOP voting against ideas that are IN its own ideological framework, like tax cuts for businesses, simply because they are coming from the administration?"
reconman0321 said "Democracy is the worst form of government until you compare it to all the others...."
Bank of America to charge $5 monthly debit card fee
Most CNN.com readers were dismayed to learn that Bank of America would soon be charging customers $5 per month for debit-card purchases. Those with premium accounts, and those who don't use the card or use it only at ATMs, will not be charged. Many said they would move their accounts to credit unions, local banks, or their mattresses.
MysticRiver said, "One hundred years ago, a wise man kept his money secure in the bank. Today, a wise man keeps his money in cash, stuffed under his mattress."
CMHTed said, "Hopefully BOA customers speak with their money and leave for community banks. As for me, I turned back to cash last year and I'm loving it."
DaveHolmes said, "This is crazy. Should everyone start writing checks again? How many employees did banks let go by going automated? Bank cards and automation have saved banks billions of dollars! Yet the greedy banking industry wants more. It's not enough that they destroyed the American economy by writing bad loans. Banks should be paying us to use their services! Hopefully my credit union won't pull this.
ToTwoToo said, "Go find a CU where you're the owner and get to vote on your board of directors. Better yet... join a CU and run for the board of directors!"
clsanchez77 said, "My family banks with a local community bank. At our bank, the bank's customers are the stockholders. We do not report to Wall Street; the bank reports to us. The result: I have no fees. My checking accounts–all three of them–are free. My only requirement is direct deposit. We have an ATM on the main account, no fees. I can walk in and see a teller, no fees. I can write checks, no fees.
Monty Liss said, "This is even more sinister: B of A manages unemployment checks for EED. This means they are actually bilking unemployed Americans out of $5 every month!"
Kirk Kohnen said, "Don't get mad, get even. Go out and buy *1* share of their stock ("BAC"). This will set you back $20-$30. Then sit back while they have to send you their annual report, and their 1¢ dividend checks 4 times per year."
Some readers had their own names for BoA: ethandy said, "BoA constrictor."
jrh512 suggested, "Bank Opposed to Americans."
Do you feel your views align with these commenters' thoughts? Post a comment below or sound off on video.
Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.