Political partisanship mirrors public

Political partisanship mirrors public

Posted in the Columbus Forum

“Queen of my domain”

Since: May 10

Location hidden

#1 Mar 6, 2013
Americans who blame Washington politicians for the polarization and gridlock of the nation's politics might want to look in the mirror: Like the elected officials they decry, voters tend to automatically retreat into partisan camps even when they disagree with the party line on policy.

A USA TODAY/Bipartisan Policy Center Poll shows that the officials who have been unable to avert the automatic spending cuts known as sequestration the current debate centers more on who's to blame for them in some ways reflect constituents who view the opposition party as deeply untrustworthy and its positions extreme. Though most Republican and Democratic voters say American politics are more polarized than the American people are, the findings indicate that on that they're wrong.

"There's no question the American public sees the country as divided and as increasingly divided, and as usual, they don't think it's their fault," says Democratic pollster Mark Mellman, who conducted the survey in conjunction with Republican pollster Whit Ayres. "The public blames the polarization and the partisanship on the politicians, but in all honesty, it's their fault, too."

Consider this test: The survey asked 1,000 Americans to assess two education policies. The first plan was to reduce class sizes and make sure schools teach the basics. The second was to increase teacher pay while making it easier to fire bad teachers.

For half the sample, the first plan was labeled a Democratic plan and the second a Republican plan. Then the labels were switched for the other half. The "Democratic" plan became the "Republican" plan, and vice versa.

In both cases, about three-fourths of Democrats and Republicans lined up behind the plan they had been told belonged to their party. In fact, both sides were inclined to describe their support as intense, to say they "strongly" favored it regardless of which policy it happened to be. That predisposition to automatically retreat to separate camps is "one of the primary reasons why our political climate is so partisan and polarized," Mellman and Ayres write.

The poll was taken to help launch a year-long project by the Commission on Political Reform, part of the Bipartisan Policy Center, on the causes and repercussions of the fierce partisanship that characterizes American politics, especially in Washington.

USA TODAY and the commission are co-hosting an interactive "town hall" meeting Wednesday at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, Calif., to start what the commission calls "a national conversation on American unity," including ways to respond.

The forum will include former elected officials from both parties, among them governors (Jennifer Granholm of Michigan, Dirk Kempthorne of Idaho), senators (Tom Daschle of South Dakota, Olympia Snowe of Maine) and House members (Dan Glickman of Kansas, Henry Bonilla of Texas). Religious leaders, business executives, the founders of nonprofit organizations and others also will participate.

Other forums will follow at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Ohio State University in Columbus, and the Edward M. Kennedy Institute and John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston.

'Government-by-crisis'

Evidence of a new era of hyper-partisanship isn't hard to find, including the budget impasse that led to the imposition of $85 billion in across-the-board spending cuts last Friday. In three weeks, President Obama and congressional leaders could face the third fiscal showdown of the year with the expiration of the continuing resolution that funds the federal government. Failure to reach an accord on that would risk a government shutdown.(Congress hasn't agreed on an actual budget since 2009.)

"The sequester is yet the latest illustration of government-by-crisis," says former senator Tom Daschle.

See full article at USA News: http://tinyurl.com/btv7bew

Discuss/digest. I'll withhold my judgement for now.

Hugh Victor Thompson III

“Larchmont's Leading Citizen”

Since: Dec 12

Hilliard, OH

#3 Mar 6, 2013
It started in the late '60s. It exploded after Watergate. And lots of money and power flowed to those who spread and grew the rancor. By 1988, in the wake of Bork and Iran Contra, it was mission accomplished.

Hugh Victor Thompson III

“Larchmont's Leading Citizen”

Since: Dec 12

Hilliard, OH

#4 Mar 6, 2013
6was9 wrote:
Oh boy! Copypasta with a big swig of whine! This is a great thread! I will be sure to read and ponder every profound word!
Let's see you start a thread, moron; one that actually encourages intelligent responses.
BTW, ask Topix why they "cut and paste" when they post their own threads.

“Queen of my domain”

Since: May 10

Location hidden

#5 Mar 6, 2013
6was9 wrote:
Oh boy! Copypasta with a big swig of whine! This is a great thread! I will be sure to read and ponder every profound word!
Example of where my thoughts are going...

“Queen of my domain”

Since: May 10

Location hidden

#7 Mar 6, 2013
Few more quotes:

On abortion, for instance, fewer than half of Democrats say abortion should be allowed in most or all circumstances (the position of the Democratic platform). Only 18% of Republicans think abortion should never be allowed (the position of the Republican platform).

Abortion rights, the Affordable Care Act and same-sex marriage are issues that distinguish and divide the two parties. But in the survey, less than a third of Democrats and 20% of Republicans agree with their party on all three of them. The divide seems to have more to do with support of a party and its leaders and dislike, even demonization, of the opposition.

The public's partisan preferences are reflected in everything from whom they marry to where they get their news. Two-thirds of Republicans report watching Fox News at least a few times a week; half of Democrats are watching MSNBC that often. Two-thirds of Democrats and three-fourths of Republicans say their spouse or significant other is in the same political party as they are. By almost 2-1, so are most members of their families.

Two questions:

1) Is there diversity in thought (are there real "thought leaders") in either party?

2) Can we claim we are "tolerant" or have "thoughtful political discussion" when "only 8% of Republicans and 13% of Democrats give their own leaders a "10," the highest rating" (on a basis of 1 to 10).

Hugh Victor Thompson III

“Larchmont's Leading Citizen”

Since: Dec 12

Hilliard, OH

#8 Mar 6, 2013
6was9 wrote:
<quoted text>
If by 'intelligent response' you mean the drivel you spam the forum with, then it needs to be discouraged if not outright banned.
I'm sorry you're neither intelligent nor educated enough to debate in a Topix forum. By all means, avoid courtrooms and classrooms (and barrooms for that matter.)
Trolls like you are a dime a dozen.

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

Columbus Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
News Columbus Becomes The First #SmartCity Of Its Kind 46 min Guest 3
Question for Spook 59 min sidekick 3
NO lying about the Harry, Meghan Wedding 1 hr They cannot kill ... 9
Times of Special/Independent Counsel Investigat... 2 hr They cannot kill ... 15
GODDESS PELE is after "pineapple" ! Start Swimm... 2 hr They cannot kill ... 28
DID I TELL YOU HOW MANY SALMON I CAUGHT? Five... 6 hr Fishin Magician 1
Sean Hannity 7 hr Duke for Mayor 653

Columbus Jobs

Personal Finance

Columbus Mortgages