Stop Blaming Dysfunction on "Both Sides"

For years, liberals have argued that polarization his little to do with the Democratic Party—which they see as largely centrist—and everything to do with a Republican Party, which has moved far to the right since the 1970s. Recent research from political scientists Keith Poole and Howard Rosenthal, who have measured polarization and ideological shifts in Congress, confirms that theory. According to NPR, they’ve found that the GOP is more conservative now than it’s been in a century:

The short version would be since the late 1970s starting with the 1976 election in the House the Republican caucus has steadily moved to the right ever since. It’s been a little more uneven in the Senate. The Senate caucuses have also moved to the right. Republicans are now furtherest to the right that they’ve been in 100 years.

Moreover, Republicans have moved further to the right than Democrats have to the left, and that goes a long way toward explaining the gridlock of the last three years, during which time Republicans have refused to play ball on everything from economic recovery—they opposed the stimulus plan, even after signing on to George W. Bush’s plan for boosting the economy in 2008—to financial regulation and a health-care-reform bill built on conservative ideas.

Unfortunately, even after noting that ideological polarization is assymmetric, both NPR and Poole refuse to move away from a “pox on both houses” frame for the story:

"[T]here doesn’t seem to be much impetus on the part of the leadership of either political party to really do something serious about our budget crisis. I doubt very seriously we’ll see much improvement.

"People forget how utterly irresponsible our political leadership has been for the last 30 years…The current political class of the U.S. just isn’t in the same league as Truman and Eisenhower and Adlai Stevenson. You just don’t have that kind of leadership now, just when we need it.

This is a fashionable sentiment—you’ll hear it on cable news and in newspaper op-ed sections—but it has no basis in reality. For two years, President Barack Obama struggled to build a biparisan consensus around deficit reduction. The Affordable Care Act was built on conservative ideas, and pitched as a move toward fiscal sustainability. Independent projections bear that out—over the next decade, it’s projected to reduce the deficit by more than $1 trillion, making it the largest deficit-reduction package since 1993, when Democrats under Bill Clinton passed a combination of tax hikes and spending cuts that began to bring the budget into balance.

In 2010, Republican opposition to tax hikes led Obama to extend the Bush tax cuts over liberals' objections, and last year, Obama—with the support of top Democrats—tried desperately to reach a “grand bargain” over deficit reduction with House Maority Leader John Boehner and the rest of the Republican leadership. But GOP opposition to tax increases—Boehner refused to trade Medicare cuts for tax increases on the wealthy—meant that these talks were bound to fail.

The Democratic Party isn’t perfect—or even particularly good—but it’s unfair to say that the United States has “irresponsible” political leadership, or that the political class is lacking as a whole. Over the last three years, Democrats have passed bills to achieve universal health coverage, reform the financial sector, bring carbon emissions under control, and save the economy from a second Great Depression. Deficits have receded to the background, but it remains true that only Democrats have been behind partisan deficit reduction—in 1993 and 2010.

If there’s a problem in American politics, it’s the Republican Party, whose theological devotion to to tax cuts and “small government” has destroyed our finances—both Reagan and George W. Bush were responsible for huge explosions of debt—and made bipartisan cooperation impossible. Our government is dysfunctional, but the pox isn’t on both houses, and the media’s quest to ignore that fact has only exacerbated the problem.

Comments

Let's assume that Poole and Rosenthal are correct, and that congressional Republicanse are more conservative than they've been in 100 years. I'm not sure how you measure today's conservative approach on regulation and entitlements compared to 1912's conservative approach on tariffs and anti-trust, but let's put that aside.

It's certainly true that the parties are more ideological today than they've been for most of our history. This is a natural consequence of the move from state and local party organizations to national ones. For the century after the Civil War, both parties had liberal and conservative blocs; the national agenda was set by negotiations among regional and state powerbrokers. Because the parties weren't homogeneous, it was very common to work with like-minded people from the other party, and today's opponent might be a needed ally for tomorrow's battle. With the sorting out of the parties, I can't think of any issue that cuts through the parties - almost every issue has a "Democratic" position and a "Republican" position, and there's little opportunity for genuine cross-party alliance. Compromise is possible, but it's always compromise between largely homogeneous Democrats and largely homogeneous Republicans.

Taking just the last 50 years or so, it seems clear that the country has gotten much more "conservative", as the term is currently used. There's much less confidence in the good intentions and competence of the government, and much less consensus that the right path forward relies on ever larger and more comprehensive government programs to solve all problems. In this sense, I think today's Republicans are more accurately reflecting the attitudes and opinions of the public than are Democrats. It may seem childish to resist any tax increases under any circumstances, but I think a great many people think the government has more than enough resources to fulfill the basic roles and responsibilities of government. If liberals don't think so, they should be making their case, not complaining about the intransigence of Repbulicans who seem to be doing what their constituents want.

To address the specifics of today's situation, I don't see how you can claim that the Republicans are more set in their ways than the Democrats. Eric Cantor started President Obama's term by offering cooperation on developing a stimulus, but the President is quoted as saying "Elections have consequences, and I won. We're going to do it my way."

On healthcare, if the individual mandate was considered "conservative" back in 1993, it was relative to an assumption that some sort of comprehensive national policy was not only inevitable but desirable. If the events of 2009 demonstrated anything, it should have shown that the population is not in agreement; the Democrats' determination to push through an unpopular bill in the face of clear and significant public opposition shows the greatest dysfunction of all - an arrogant commitment to impose on the people what they don't want to accept.

Very well said.

This is a silly article. The parties are in deadlock, yes, but to say anything other than that they view things differently and won't compromise is just cheap advocacy for democrats. What we need is an executive and congressmen who know how to get things done. There are still some there. Obama, from what I read, just really doesn't care for the company of those guys and doesn't reach over to them. Carter couldn't either, but Reagan did. We need a guy in the white house who can connect on that level. Romney is the guy.

I think what every unpaid blogger would like to know is, "did someone get paid to write this?"

If so, I think there are millions of equally ignorant pseudo writers willing to write something equally as ignorant for free on American Prospect.

Wow Jamelle - it looks like your article has slipped into the right-wing echo chamber! Even a quick scan sees the same stats and Fox talking points repeating ad nauseum. And everyone is new (like me I know - but I've got you on ticker feed).

Methinks you've been linked somewhere in the right blogosphere... Either that or we've got a couple of yahoos with multiple log-ins.

Keep up the good work Jamelle. These guys have short attention spans as I'm sure you are well aware.

It was linked at Realclearpolitics. I think that's where the traffic is coming from.

That explains it. Interesting how the heading is listed differently, though... "Blame GOP, not Obama, for Dysfunction" is definitely more designed for an emotional response...

Jamille needs to take a second look at what she wrote. Maybe a strong pair of glasses would help.

The dysfunction occured originally in the Democratic party when the 1960 radicals (Ayers and Dohrn to name two) took over the party by getting socialist George McGovern nominated for President in the election against Richard Nixon.

Though he lost, the Democratic Party has been spinning it's web since then and reached it's 1960 goal of being a completely socialist/communist party when Obama and a Democratic House and Senate were elected. The American public rejected that in the 2010 elections.

Obama's (hope and change) was disguised during the 2008 election. It won't work in 2012 because the American people (those that vote) are not socialists.

Jamille is doing what all liberals do and that is to project what their doing or planning to do onto their opponents.

In the first 56 words of the second paragraph our Charter, The Declaration of Independence, Mr. Jefferson and his editors declared that there were three self-evident truths: Only people created governments are legitimate,
every individual has the natural right to live and the freedom to pursue happiness, and the purpose of government is to secure these natural rights to each individual.

Collectivists/Progressives simply do accept at least the last two as self-evident truths at all.

The purpose of government is to secure individual rights? How dated. Limited government? Simply archaic. When Justice Ginsburg was asked by an Egyptian
interviewer what Egypt could learn from The American Constitution, she responded by advising him that she would advise Egyptians use a more modern constitution as a model -- like South Africa's. A look at SA's constitution will demonstrate that limited government is not a concept.

It's the philosophy, folks. Living Constitutionalists ignore that as great as The Constitution is, it is a means to the Declaration's ends. As Lincoln wrote The Constitution is a picture of Silver framed around an Apple of Gold. The Frame exists for the Apple.

Yup. When the POTUS is a gooper, disunity is the fault of the POTUS. When the POTUS is a democrat, disunity is the fault of the goopers. Is there a pattern here?

This article seems to imply that the Republican party is some shadowy fringe organization with a small group of 'controllers' at the top. The Republican Party is made up of and supported by millions of people. If the Republican party is moving right it's because a large portion of voters and donors are demanding it move right. Many moderate Republicans were challenged and lost in the 2010 primaries and are feeling the same heat from the right in 2012.

Go ahead a blame the "Republican Party' for gridlock and dysfunction in DC but don't forget to include the 40%+ of voters in the US who support the party and encourage it's move to the right. Grover Norquist and his tax pledge are popular with many elected officials because they like him or his ideas. The officials take the pledge because Republican voters demand it.

Congressional dysfunction can be explained clearly and technically... Nothing has been passed other than continuing funding resolutions by this Congress since 2010 election. Many bills -- partisan and bipartisan -- have been passed in the House. No bill has even been debated in the Senate. Why?

Simple, really. Obama controls Harry Reid and he just tells Harry not to bring the many jobs and other bills up in the Senate. Obama is the sole cause of the Congressional dysfunction, because he personally controls Reid who in turn controls the Senate. Its a structural problem not contemplated by the Founders and one we have never seen used before Obama brought Chicago to DC. Just think about it. Obama has effective control of ALL legislation by controlling Reid and Senate.

Obama is skilled at misdirection. or all we know of his past or his present inept or evil -- or both in varying degrees -- leadership (really?), it could well be his only skill.

Whew! All you "conservatives" are due credit - you can swarm the "liberals" and spread your claptrap message better than anyone. Guess it's good to excel at something, even if it is dispensing swill! Love the repeated mantra that Obama had a huge Congressional majority, while ignoring the Al Franken/Minnesota debacle, as well as the untimely death of Senator Kennedy. Plus, the Democrats have never been lock step lemmings like the Republicans. I prefer Will Rogers comments when asked about his political affiliation: "I'm not a member of an organized party. I'm a Democrat." A healthy discourse will occur when opposing parties sit and discuss the common good. I ain't holding my breath when one party's sole agenda is to defeat President Obama.

Are you kidding. Short of FDR, no one had bigger majorities than Obama did in his first two years. Almost no president has completely veto proof majorities. Obama did. Outside of FDR no president has ever enjoyed the majorities that Obama did. If he couldn't make that work, that's entirely on him. If he needed one Republican to join his democratic majority and couldn't get even one are you really blaming Republicans?

Reagan passed tax cuts from 70% to 28% with a Democratic house. How did that happen?

I'm pretty sure there were many Democrats rooting for Bush to fail. The reality is that the party in power always claims the party out of power is rooting for failure. There's nothing new in what is now being said. Republicans accused Democrats of the same thing when Bush was president. Now, Democrats are accusing REpublicans of the same thing. It's always the same story.

Excellent article but my god, I have never seen so many right wing trolls descend upon a progressive article repeating every Fox news lie and talking point in the book.

The right wing comments could be laughable except that it's tragic that people are so shortsighted. Calling Obama "left" shows no sense of where Democrats have been in the past. Thinking socialism is a sin is just as bad, we've always had a Socialist party in this country and they were very successful in making progress against abusive labor practices 80-90 years ago. Capitalism can't be found in those beloved founder's documents, can it?
The canard about a Democratically-controlled 110th Congress can only be believed if you don't understand the GOP's historic misuse and abuse of the filibuster.
Romney talks of a failed stimulus when it turned around the job losses of the Great Recession--the Recession characterized by the cumulative failures of various GOP ideas about low taxes and laissez faire government. He ignores the worse numbers propagated by Saint Ronnie. He criticizes a health care insurance reform program that is based on conservative ideas that he championed as Governor. Can't you sheeple Republicans see that you manipulated to increase the wealth of a greedy elite that doesn't care if you get sick and die as long as they can live obcenely materialistic lifestyles at your expense?

I don't know what is worse; Bouie writing this knowing its a one-sided and partisan piece of propaganda, or if he truly believes this. I suspect its the latter, but then I would assume he is one of those whose biggest critique of the President is that he "tries to reach out too much."

For Obama to state he is trying to build a bi-partisan consensus does not make it do. What olive branches (in the form of legislative action) was taken? None. If one states in one breath, "I am seeking GOP support for this" only to turn around and say "we won, the other side needs to deal with it", then the calls of bi-partisanship are hollow. I don't mind him taking the latter tract, he did win, it was his prerogative to push the legislation he wanted.....but don't insult us all with hollow expressions of desired cooperation.

Could it be that the GOP has moved to the right because the American public has moved to the right? Jamelle Bouie is clearly blind to reality.

Let's see, the Democraps have the majority in the Senate. The Senate voted on the "Buffet Rule" and the obstructionist Democraps kept it from passing. The media blamed the Republicants, but in reality they were outnumbered and should have lost along party lines. Either the leadership of Obama, Harry Reed or both failed OR enough Democrats saw it as what it was, a dog and pony show. When you are in the majority, you cannot blame the other side!!
Epic logic failure.

It's definitely not fair to blame it all on the right, though truthfully they've been incredibly stubborn and have had the Senate numbers to stymie all since early on. However the main thing I see in the comments is MY GOD HOW THE CONSERVATIVE ARE UNIFORMLY MISINFORMED AND UNFAIR. Regurgitating Fox talking points is NOT a debate, especially the junk talking points. I"ve seen hundreds of references to the 414-0 budget vote like it means Obama's budget was atrocious--yet not ONE of you notes the EXACT SAME THING routinely happened to Reagan and Clinton in their budget votes--pre-election, numerous times they got zero or a handful of their own party voting for their budgets (and got hammered in midterms too, btw). Last week's budget vote was NOT news, at all, and proves zilch. HINT: Any "NEWS" CHANNEL or "TALK" SHOW that keeps hammering that stat and never once bothers to inform viewers of the context (that happens all the time and is political theater), is JUNK NEWS that's not informing or illuminating, it's pandering & inflaming. I suppose we could all call Obama "lazy" for getting elected in November but not starting his job til January. Technically, it's "true." I'm not an Obama policy fan (neither Romney, & I dislike Pelosi & Ryan), don't know for whom I'll vote, but WOW is it evident that a ton of Obama critics have pure personal dislike for the man and aren't gonna exert one brain cell to logic, they'd rather hate on his funny middle name and blame him for all that ails everything. Seriously, you think the "most left wing president in history" and "Marxist" is the same guy who bailed out Wall Street? Rubbish. I think the problem on both sides is people apparently tune in to "news" that tells them exactly what they want to hear, then hang out on websites with like-minded people who reinforce the half-truths, and get so worked up that eventually hyperbole sounds like fact, and sarcasm and condescension is the common approach to any different idea. With a charged ignorant voter base like that showing up at Tea Party rallies, it's no wonder most GOP moderates went extinct and aren't allowed to compromise (by the way, how come nobody above mentioned Olympia Snowe's retirement comments?! They weren't "This is all B HUSSAIN OBAMA'S fault"). There is PLENTY of Obama policy that you could criticize, but most of the dittoheads just vent rather than have a rational fair debate. I don't think it's good form to call people stupid, but I will call one behavior stupid: If your news media and circle of conversation hasn't even given you pause to think, or reconsider, or offered up valid counterarguments in years, and merely leaves you more convinced and worked up that you are 100% right and everyone else is stupid... well, it's high time you changed the channel. If you aren't willing to do that, then I'd just suggest you redirect your anger away from the tan president with the funky middle name and back at yourself, because willful ignorance is a self-imposed crime.

Early on, Obama did ram some things down the GOP throats. Healthcare reform (I'm not a fan of most of it), though to be fair, it WAS a festering crisis, and the GOP did nothing but lip service for years while in power, and the mandate was based on GOP market principles. No Republicans freaked when they did it in Massachusetts years ago. And they pretty much balked when they had a chance to get on board to shape it in 2008--I would have LOVED to have seen tort reform and cost cutting measures. But they sat out, and I think it's cause the moderates lacked the guts to stand up to the worked up right wing. Believe me, I gave a listen to every conservative news and talk show in Nov 2008, and they were RAILING on Obama before he enacted ANYTHING (if you're Limbaugh or O'Reilly, what a boon to finally have a Dem back in the White House, huh?). As far as Obama never reaching out, what about the debt ceiling fiasco? He offered a 4 to 1 cuts to tax hike deal (for a supposed "Marxist" that's beyond compromise, it's surrender!). And the right wing turned what is a regular procedural thing into Armageddon that screwed our nation's credit rating. So let's at least be honest and say they've earned some of the "inflexible" label. Take the no-new-taxes pledge, for instance. If the shoe were on the other foot, and hundreds of Democrats had signed a "We will not cut ANY government spending AT ALL" in the current climate, we would rightly be calling it irresponsible. Which is exactly what we should be calling all the GOP folk who signed the no taxes pledge. PARTICULARLY because, although government spending needs to be slashed, it's clearly evident from studying historical tax levels that a large part of the problem was absurd unrealistic tax cuts. But in the talk radio Fox News world, restoring tax levels to Reagan or Clinton levels (when there was no deficit, remember?) amounts to MARXISM. I wish we could just hand out dictionaries to people so they could look those terms up. Or historical economic books so they can see we've always had a progressive tax system and it generally worked and is fine by me and I'm a big Commie hater. And when we gutted that system, surprise surprise, the last 30 years the working and middle class has seen a mind-boggling amount of wealth concentrated in a handful of people. Based purely on the empirical evidence of the last three decades of tax policy, wouldn't it seem REASONABLE to accept an 80% spending cut/20% tax rise i.e. tax RESTORATION model? By not doing so, the GOP got some payback and did make Obama look bad, but considering the approval ratings of the GOP Congress are even worse then Obama's ratings, they don't help themselves much either. And they certainly don't help our nation.

this "writer" is a staggering hack. the truth is that even a democratic congress can't sign on to the class warfare, the fiscal incompetence, the arrogance, the pure delusion of barack obama. hacks like this are simply lame shills, reduced to name calling and finger pointing in the face of the sad truth. this president couldn't even position himself to have the support of his own party in congress, generally. "it's the other guy's fault!" what a joke you are, dude.

Right, most crappy centrist Democrats don't support anything remotely progressive, like attempting to close tax loopholes that allow corporations to pay close to zero tax.

And NO Republicans support this, of course.

So, what you have now is a really crummy party of poor-people-hating, social program-slashing, deficithawks, and a REALLY REALLY crummy party of poor-hating-people, social program-slashing deficithawks.

I think the author of the article would argue that this is not exactly a system that benefits the average citizen.

I see lots of hypercharged words like "hack", "Democrap", "joke", but not many facts or actual analysis. And many outright mistruths. The truth is, for better or worse, Obama has enjoyed the support of his own party. The incessant citing of the joke 414-0 vote shows people's ignorance. Reagan got the same pre-election vote TWICE, but no right wingers rail about how the GOP abandoned him. And the recent Senate Buffet vote just goes to show a simple majority is worthless, you need 60 votes to avoid filibuster which Obama doesn't have--not that I want 60+ Dems in the Senate, but at least be honest about things. As far as "incompetence", there's been plenty on both sides. "Arrogance"? How about massive tax cuts during two wars AND increasing domestic spending, to boot? "Class warfare"? For decades, government has cut taxes with the overwhelming benefit going to the top earners--I do well and have gotten big benefits from these cuts; thanks, but I'd rather you not screw my country and my middle class roots over for the benefit of me and a few other million top earners. The result of the tax cuts has NOT been trickle down prosperity. Not by a long shot. It's been a screwed-over middle class and a giant accumulation of wealth at the top of the pyramid (yes there are other complex underlying factors, but a major factor of the inequity IS a tax system where I can pay waaay less on high six figure income and investment income, than, say, a mid-level manager making 5 figures). My question to the Obama haters is how has the last 30 years of gaming the system in favor of the wealthiest, and subsequently seeing the wealthiest do incredibly well and the middle class get screwed---how has THAT not ONCE been called "Class Warfare"? And merely closing loopholes that benefit the elite and restoring upper rate levels to what they were under Clinton or Reagan doesn't strike me as a Marxist plot. In fact, I remember we had plenty of well off people doing great back then, and much healthier and balanced budgets. I would be the first to agree that we should trim government, it is rife with waste and too much regulation. But that does not mean that the tax cuts for the wealthiest hasn't also been an abject failure. I suppose though that when the supporting evidence is "Obama sucks" or "Most Marxististist president EVER", you're really not interested in having an illuminating discussion. I think it's just the angry hangover from drinking all that sweet yummy fact-free Talk Radio baby-milk...

There never was a majority if you count all the conservative democrats who voted against Obama on every bill. Bullcrap and the writer of this article is correct on all counts. I am just amazed how many right wingers post on what is considered a liberal website. I guess you folks really do get paid to post your drivel.

Its interesting to read dbtexas' remarks... Word choices not only indicate intelligence and education, but also emotional condition of the commenter. So, we have "swarm", "claptrap", "swill", "lemmings"... Comments like these are, of course, not much o an intellectual discourse, but do tell us we have an angry progressive venting.

Another commenter noted that this article appeared in realclearpolitics.com, as though that explained the comments here from some with a more conservative view. RealClearPolitics.com may be the only unbiased site for online news. Why? Because it offers articles and polls from both liberals and progressives every day on the same topics. For those on either side who value getting more complete and objective information, its simply the best site. If you are a brainwashed liberal or conservative who is more comfortable in one side or the other's "echo chambers" RealClearPolitics.com is not for you. For those interested in learning and understanding what's going on -- those more objective and intelligent -- its a great site. As a conservative, I have trouble reading Klein, Krugman, Marcus, and others, but force myself to do so every day.

Lots o jealousy and envy here an little knowledge o economics... All this talk about the rich paying, say, 13.9 percent capital gains. Do these people realize that these rich folks first paid, say, 30+ percent on their salary or income? Only after first paying taxes on that income they earned and then invested it and made a profit on their earlier earned after-tax income do they subsequently pay an additional lower tax on any profits? You envious and angry and complaining liberals do understand how it works, don't you? No, of course, you don't. And, that's why you will always think you are paying more than the double-taxed, but much harder working and much more successful rich you would string up on a tree in your own form of class warfare racism. Must hurt. Must be very painful to see your peers pass you by as they succeed...

Why do you hate deficit reduction? Raising corporate taxes would aid in reducing the deficit.

Also, a corporation is not a peer, nor can one be jealous of one. That is one of the weirdest strawman arguments I have ever heard.

"You're just jealous that Goldman Sachs is a wealthy company who gets out of paying taxes through loopholes, and hasn't contributed its fair share of the tax burden since before the 80's."

Not jealous; it's just bad for the country. I like my country, and don't worship corporate overlords.

@gmonsen, you're wrong. I'll attach 2 links that show how a Mitt Romney type ONLY pays super low 15% capital gains on incentivized stock options: It's a legal, smart tax dodge that isn't available to middle/working class people, who generally pay 25-28% income tax, then 7.5% Social Security & Medicare on their first $100,000, and THEN generally also pay state income and/or sales tax. There are tons of loopholes for the wealthy, not too many for the middle class. Smart folks will always search for & create legal ways to avoid taxes, I do too, and I don't begrudge anyone that, but be honest with yourself and others. The 1% didn't get to be the 1% by punching a timeclock, paying 40% income/FICA tax on a weekly paycheck, then starting a lemonade stand (just look at the ways CEO's are being paid and the staggering increase compared to the average worker). In large part, in the last 30 years the tax game has been rigged in favor of that 1%, and the decreased tax revenues replaced by borrowing. Add in a spending spree by both parties and we get giant deficits.
I'm not advocating a return to 80% top rates, and the budget will not be fixed by restoring top rates to Clinton levels and eliminating loopholes. There need to be major spending cuts and deregulation of many businesses.
However, I do think it's necessary to discuss FACTS of the current tax system, and not your unsupported assertion that "liberals are just envious/the beat-up rich are double-taxed." Most of that post is emotional opinion, and unsubstantiated opinion, at that. And BTW, a guy making $100,000 and paying 40% of taxes SHOULD be envious of a guy making $100 million and paying 13%. And no, not a 13% after he's paid other taxes on it. Just a 13%. THAT is the way it works, unfortunately.
http://taxes.about.com/b/2011/08/30/how-incentive-stock-options-are-taxed.htm
www.smartmoney.com/personal-finance/taxes/taxes-on-incentive-stock-options-12196/

The dim-bulb who point out that Democrats (an awful political party, to begin with) had control of Congress yet still didn't pass anything as an attempt to take blame off Republicans (an even awfuller party) actually prove the article's point: Republicans are rank-and-file hyper-partisans who vote against anything even remotely progressive or anti-corporate, while most Democrats in Congress are weak moderate-right/ centrist/ technocrats who also vote against anything even remotely progressive or anti-corporate.

To say that both sides are "too partisan" is untrue - one side is far far right, while the other "side" is center-right.

It's amazing how few progressives have commented to support the writer of this accurate analysis. The moral intelligence and spiritual maturity of this country's electorate certainly comes under question with every election that shows suppport for a conservative agenda. Anything good that has been done to advanced justice and peace for all Americans has come under liberal auspices. Nobody in the comments here could refute this nor have they effectively done so to the author's main point. It is far easier in our bought and paid for electoral system to peel off a few fake Democrats so the 60 threshold in the Senate is not met than it is to find a few Republicans who will cross their rightwing media figures, their so-called Christian dominionist leaders, or their wealth corporate benefactors. We are screwed by the sheer stupidity of those in the electorate who find common cause with the intransigent rightwing. . . against their best interests.

The Democratic Super Majority Myth | http://bit.ly/HYa4hT

Well when one "party" is clinically insane it is hard to realistically blame both parties for gridlock. I can remember a time when the Republican party was not insane. I would often disagree with them but they were not street-rat crazy. Those days are long gone.

All my life (I'm 56), BOTH mainstream parties have been moving to the right. The draconian laws and massive military budgets that are sailing unopposed through Congress would have been unthinkable in past decades. Obama regularly takes positions that Nixon would have considered fascistic. And the media, even the supposedly "left" media, acts like it's situation normal.

Like most Americans, I'm sick of the constant rehash of wedge issues accompanying governmental unanimity around bank bailouts, militarism, and criminal foreign policies. I've spent too long trying to find a solution in the Democratic Party. I intend to vote Green Party.

But I know elections aren't going to save us. The abuse of our environment has gone so far that there is no longer a resource base to restore our rapacious economy. The only sensible way out is radical localism. We'll have to grow our own food, pedal our own bikes, and care for our neighbors. Our response to government and the corrupt corporations that own it will be general strikes, broad boycotts, and nonviolent noncompliance.

Most commenters above are not thinking beyond the last FOX sound-bites!

This is the first time a political party in the U.S. has deliberately put the country in jeopardy in order to cover-up and shift blame for mis-rule of historic proportions.

Read more at: willibl.blogspot.com

That;s willigl.blogspot.com

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