Have come across some really good writing lately on the all too frequently not related subjects of politics and how people are fairing financially (with one of the pieces being about this very disconnect).
An overview of how individual people and families are doing came from two Charlie Pierce pieces in America's Muddling Purpose, Circa Christmas 2011 and then America Will Only Get Better When It Is Ours Again on the Esquire website. Excellent writing in both and to grossly generalize, the shared message is people are struggling to make it through and just how important that goal is.
Unfortunately, politics and the political process oft times seems to be removed from peoples daily lives as detailed well in The SportsCenter-ization of Political Journalism for The Atlantic by Patrick Hruby. One of those pieces that you hope and wish weren't true, but the arguments (which quote the aforementioned Charlie Pierce) valid.
People can still accomplish things (and we still have feel good stories like The Bank Around the Corner by Alan Feuer in The New York Times), but has definitely been some solid writing (including by James Altucher) which argues that political results and scoreboards oft don't matter for individual people.