“In capitol after state capitol, Washington’s toxic culture is seeping in, suffocating local tradition and replacing it with the Beltway’s unique contribution to American politics—the practice of permanent, total war,” Politico writes dramatically, citing local author Rob Witwer, who argues all the campaign collateral stuffed into our mailboxes is also fueling the nation’s political divide.

Caught up in the combat are the generally bonded cousins Tom and Mark Udall (also Politico). While Tom, a Democratic U.S. senator from New Mexico, has been reliably (in keeping with family tradition) liberal, Mark, Colorado’s senior Democratic U.S. senator, has veered from the party often lately—particularly when it comes to fiscal issues. One of those deviations is his support for a version of the Balanced Budget Amendment touted by U.S. Representative Mike Coffman, a Centennial Republican who’s formed a caucus based on the idea (Denver Post).

At the state level it appears the big war is being fight inside just one party, however, with elected Republicans fleeing a “controversial” conservative committee (here and here via the Colorado Independent).