Over at Distributed Republic, Brandon Berg wonderfully captures my own attitude towards mainstream politics:
The problem with pragmatism is that it's just not practical. Ideal pragmatism is great--freed from ideological constraints, you can just do what works!--but ideal pragmatism isn't an option.
What we actually get is real-world pragmatism: People's beliefs about what policies produce the best results are driven more by ideology and cognitive bias than by actual evidence. And those are just the people who at least make a good-faith (if weak) attempt at intellectual honesty...
Check out the whole thing.
Never trust anyone who says he wants to get away from ideology and just do "what works." He's lying- perhaps to you, more likely to himself.