As a progressive, I tend to think the Republican Party is much more ideologically extreme than the Democratic Party. There are many reasons, some of which may be more legitimate than others. But it turns out that my opinion isn't representative. According to this research from the Pew Research Center, the typical Democrat thinks the GOP is kind of conservative, while the typical Republican thinks the Democratic Party is really, really liberal.
Literature and pop culture are full of characters who start off hating each other -- couples fated for romance, a black cop and a white cop thrown together unwillingly as partners, a new recruit and a grizzled old sergeant. They fight bitterly, then go through trials together, and come to realize that underneath all that arguing is love and trust. But how often has that happened to you in real life? It probably happened more often the opposite way -- you started off liking someone, then over time got into disagreements, until you finally realized that this person is kind of a jerk and you don't really want to have much to do with them. Your ex became your ex for a reason, your boss turned out to be a backstabbing liar, that sort-of-friend started to really get on your nerves.
Sorry for the cynical headline, but the news that the Congressional Budget Office scored Rep. Pete Stark's proposal to add a public option to the coming insurance exchanges as reducing the deficit by $53 billion through 2019 is all well and good, but it won't change the minds of anyone who opposed it the first time around. First of all, there is virtually no such thing as a true "deficit hawk" in Washington. Concern about deficits is a handy excuse everyone uses to justify cuts in programs they already don't like.