Saturday, April 28, 2012

Both Sides Don't Do It

Political scientists Norman Ornstein and Thomas Mann have studied the American political scene for many years, and they're debunking the lazy, cynical, Village media-promoted theme that, in politics, both Democrats and Rethuglicans are equally to blame for gridlock, rancor, and the corruption of money in politics. Some choice excerpts:
"The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition...'Both sides do it' or 'There is plenty of blame to go around' are the traditional refuges for an American news media intent on proving its lack of bias...Today, thanks to the GOP, compromise has gone out the window in Washington. In the first two years of the Obama administration, nearly every presidential initiative met with vehement, rancorous and unanimous Republican opposition in the House and the Senate, followed by efforts to delegitimize the results and repeal the policies."
As the title of the article says, "let's just say it: the Republicans are the problem."

BONUS: Along the same lines, read David Atkins' piece, which expands on the Ornstein/Mann analysis. Here's a taste:
"It would seem that the last three years should be all the political evidence one needs that the forbearance approach of the center-left doesn't work. Forget whether the policies are good or not for a moment: politically speaking, if forbearance and reasonableness were virtues in politics, President Obama would be a saint. He's bent farther over backwards to compromise with these people than Gumbi. The result was an even more extremist right wing, an historic devastation for his party in the 2010 midterms, an intransigently conservative Supreme Court, and an apoplectic 2012 campaign. Forbearance hasn't worked--and that's just the politics of it."

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