Of course, that would theoretically be the logical response with two political parties, too. But, evolutionary biology, as well as human social psychology, point out that there are incentives for “cheaters” to abound in a game like Prisoner’s Dilemma.
That said, there’s a simple response to “cheaters” in a multi-round version of something like Prisoner’s Dilemma. It’s the old childhood action of “tit for tat.”
Sadly, somewhat with Slick Willie Clinton, and even more with President Kumbaya, modern (neo)liberalism in the U.S. is invested in the idea of “cooperation.” Period.
Or, as Dylan Otto Krider puts it on ScienceProgress, we currently have tit without tat.
Basically, this is why today’s Democrats, overall are political idiots (another reason to vote Green), politics is irrational today and why centrism (since the Democrats ARE centrists, in many ways) won't work in today's USofA (Apologies to my centrist sister; none to the idiotic Teapot Tommy Friedman.
Neither blind cooperation nor blind stonewalling is best, actually:
(A)fter a few cycles of mutual recrimination, it eventually becomes clear both sides are better off cooperating within the system.Axelrod’s computer tournaments showed that Tit-for-Tat eventually rooted out the defectors, making it possible for everyone to default for cooperation. …However, the computer competitions showed this arrangement was unstable, too. Once everyone defaulted to cooperation, the system became too trusting and open to exploitation by defectors.
And, that, Krider says, is where Democrats, abetted by, or abetting for, mainstream media types like Teapot Tommy, blew it:
It’s easy to point fingers at the GOP, but the blind ideology of the Democrats and the media are equally to blame for its steady drift to extremism. Democrats never tatted. And the media let the former boundaries of acceptable politics and discourse slide by defaulting to narratives of “both sides do it.”
So, if Democrats won’t punish Republicans for “cheating,” shouldn’t Democrats be punished for being weak-kneed, or whatever you want to call it?
Note: This is also a good argument for parliamentary government or, at the minimum, some proportional representation seats off of a "national list" in the U.S. House, never mind reforming the U.S. Senate. Third parties having an easier foothold make it easier to force cheaters to be punished.