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| | |-+  Partisan Polarization Surges in Bush, Obama Years
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Author Topic: Partisan Polarization Surges in Bush, Obama Years  (Read 1182 times)
greenforest32
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« on: June 04, 2012, 10:45:05 pm »
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As Americans head to the polls this November, their values and basic beliefs are more polarized along partisan lines than at any point in the past 25 years. Unlike in 1987, when this series of surveys began, the values gap between Republicans and Democrats is now greater than gender, age, race or class divides.

Overall, there has been much more stability than change across the 48 political values measures that the Pew Research Center has tracked since 1987. But the average partisan gap has nearly doubled over this 25-year period from 10% in 1987 to 18% in the new study.

Read more at http://www.people-press.org/2012/06/04/partisan-polarization-surges-in-bush-obama-years/

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Queen Mum Inks.LWC
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« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2012, 11:51:48 pm »
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I think we've known this for years.  And the loss of Senators like Hagel and Feingold haven't helped the situation.
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GLPman
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« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2012, 12:17:53 am »
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Unfortunately, the partisanship of the country will most likely continue to increase in upcoming elections.
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LastVoter
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« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2012, 12:30:00 am »
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I think we've known this for years.  And the loss of Senators like Hagel and Feingold haven't helped the situation.
Feingold wasn't a moderate.
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Queen Mum Inks.LWC
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« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2012, 12:34:10 am »
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I think we've known this for years.  And the loss of Senators like Hagel and Feingold haven't helped the situation.
Feingold wasn't a moderate.

I didn't say he was.  But he was willing to work with the Republicans to move legislation forward.  He realized that compromise was better than gridlock.
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smoltchanov
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« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2012, 03:15:36 am »
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Absolutely. I follow American politics for 40 years, and it never was so polarized and, i dare to say, as predictable and boring, as it's now. 40 years ago (despite Democratic party being, generally, more liberal of two) there was a substantial overlap between parties - there were such Republicans as Case, Brooke and Javits in Senate (and similar people in House), while Democrats still had McDonald, Gramm, Eastland or (in non-Southern states) Runnels and Stump. The most liberal Republicans were not "comparable" with most conservative Democrats - they were much more liberal.. And what do we have now?

2 parties dominated by "activists" (with substantial number being open loonies) marching one to the left, and another - even more speedily  - to the right. The most conservative Democratic Senator or Representative is substantially more liberal then most "moderate" Republican. No real "conservatives" among Democrats, and no real "moderates" (i don't even speak about "liberals") among Republicans. If this tendency will continue - soon 435 Nancy Pelosi-clones will run against 435 John Boehner-clones... (i support Nancy Pelosi-style liberals in liberal distiricts and John Boehner-style conservatives in really conservative ones, but not everywhere).

The same tendencies in state legislatures: try to find really conservative Democratic legislator even in Deep South or really liberal Republican even in New England. There are still some (very few), but they are more and more an "endangered species"....


It's bad and boring, folks...... ESPECIALLY - under 2-party system.  If US would have 5-8 parties and parliamentary system of Europe - it could be ok: everyone would have it's favorite party (and political niche) and then - coalition government, which could smoothe the most acute "angles". But under American 2-party system it becomes simply dangerous. And, given the role US plays in modern world politics - not only for US itself..
« Last Edit: June 05, 2012, 03:39:28 am by smoltchanov »Logged

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anvi
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« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2012, 05:18:17 am »
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Yep, we are quite polarized now.  That's exactly the way the modern parties want us.
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smoltchanov
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« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2012, 05:21:14 am »
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Yep, we are quite polarized now.  That's exactly the way the modern parties want us.

And that's why i hate "modern parties" a lot))). Very much hate))))
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Raging moderate. Big fan of "mavericks" (in all parties) and big non-lover of "reliable foot soldiers" (in all parties as well). Very much "anti-tea party". Political Matrix - E: -0.26, S: -3.48
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« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2012, 05:28:08 am »
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Yep, we are quite polarized now.  That's exactly the way the modern parties want us.

And that's why i hate "modern parties" a lot))). Very much hate))))

I'm totally with you.
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smoltchanov
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« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2012, 05:37:20 am »
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Yep, we are quite polarized now.  That's exactly the way the modern parties want us.

And that's why i hate "modern parties" a lot))). Very much hate))))

I'm totally with you.

Thanks!
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Frodo
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« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2012, 06:36:48 am »
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Doesn't much surprise me -as Baby Boomers move into retirement (and thus their most active voting years), the political parties are reflecting the sharp divisions that have always characterized this generation since the 1960s.  So of course they are going to be extremely politically polarized. 
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freepcrusher
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« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2012, 08:11:41 am »
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my opinion is that it accelerated in the 1990s where it became frighteningly apparent that people in both parties were creating there own echo chambers. The conservatives were moving to areas such as the districts of Dick Armey, Joel Hefley, Newt Gingrich, Tom DeLay etc to create their own echo chamber while the liberals tended to congregate in areas such as Manhattan, the lakefront wards of Chicago and San Mateo County CA.
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smoltchanov
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« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2012, 08:17:50 am »
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my opinion is that it accelerated in the 1990s where it became frighteningly apparent that people in both parties were creating there own echo chambers. The conservatives were moving to areas such as the districts of Dick Armey, Joel Hefley, Newt Gingrich, Tom DeLay etc to create their own echo chamber while the liberals tended to congregate in areas such as Manhattan, the lakefront wards of Chicago and San Mateo County CA.

Generally agree. And when i visit partisan Internet-sites (even the best one's, like DKE and RRH) - i frequently feel myself in the above mentioned "echo chambers" (virtual, of course). We will see it later today, when election results will come))))
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brittain33
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« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2012, 09:48:35 am »
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What's wrong with polarized political parties? The Dem coalition up until the 1980s didn't make any sense for public policy, and the trade of a lot of conservative southern Dems for a smaller number of liberal and moderate northern Republicans is very good for coherence of policy, if bad for "polarization."

The major problem we have is that our parties now operate like a parliamentary system but our institutions (notably, the senate) haven't evolved to reflect that. A smaller problem is how local elections get tainted by association with the federal parties which distorts the process so no Republican can get elected to local government in D.C. and no Dem in Texas.
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Franzl
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« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2012, 09:59:20 am »
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What's wrong with polarized political parties? The Dem coalition up until the 1980s didn't make any sense for public policy, and the trade of a lot of conservative southern Dems for a smaller number of liberal and moderate northern Republicans is very good for coherence of policy, if bad for "polarization."

The major problem we have is that our parties now operate like a parliamentary system but our institutions (notably, the senate) haven't evolved to reflect that. A smaller problem is how local elections get tainted by association with the federal parties which distorts the process so no Republican can get elected to local government in D.C. and no Dem in Texas.

This precisely. This "problem" would not be recognized as such in parliamentarian systems. The government and opposition, after all, are expected to paint two very different pictures. And to be honest, I don't quite understand why we should want our politicians to have to "compromise" to get anything done. Let the majority govern, and vote them out at the next election if you don't like the result of their policies.
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smoltchanov
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« Reply #15 on: June 05, 2012, 10:03:21 am »
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What's wrong with polarized political parties? The Dem coalition up until the 1980s didn't make any sense for public policy, and the trade of a lot of conservative southern Dems for a smaller number of liberal and moderate northern Republicans is very good for coherence of policy, if bad for "polarization."

The major problem we have is that our parties now operate like a parliamentary system but our institutions (notably, the senate) haven't evolved to reflect that. A smaller problem is how local elections get tainted by association with the federal parties which distorts the process so no Republican can get elected to local government in D.C. and no Dem in Texas.

IMHO - 2 things. You mentioned one himself - difference between how party acts and how Congress works. I mentioned another above - there are only 2 big parties. If they become (and they became!!) too ideologized - a lot of people (in this case, for example - like me: generally centrist, with some reasonable fiscal conservative streak, but at least somewhat socially liberal) have no place in party systemv at all.  I am "too conservative" for Democrats and "too liberal" for Republicans. And there are millions of people like me and millions of "vice versa" - socially conservative, but economically liberal (or, at least, populist) as well.. If there would be 3rd and 4th parties for all of us, and parliamentary, not FPTP, electoral system - everything would (or, at least, could) be ok. But at present there is a system that works along the lines of old Russian saying: "I am a boss - you are a fool, you are a boss - i am a fool!"... Simply count number of Democrats and Republicans in given legislature - and you will have a good approximation of how all important votes will go. No more coalitions, compromises, just "brute force"..
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smoltchanov
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« Reply #16 on: June 05, 2012, 10:07:07 am »
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[This precisely. This "problem" would not be recognized as such in parliamentarian systems. The government and opposition, after all, are expected to paint two very different pictures. And to be honest, I don't quite understand why we should want our politicians to have to "compromise" to get anything done. Let the majority govern, and vote them out at the next election if you don't like the result of their policies.

Long ago politics was characterized as "art of compromise". You offer a brute force instead. We (in Russia) know all too well where it leads - we didn't forget 1937th still. I think - Germans didn't forget 1933th as well, and how easily the "majority" can change "rules of game" to assure its very-long-term domination, while opposition may find itself ... even in camps.... and hold their meetings there. It's almost impossible when you have a lot of parties and, thus, almost always a coalition government, which almost always presupposes compromise, but much more likely when you have only 2... There is even a chance that ypu may have only one relatively soon..
« Last Edit: June 05, 2012, 10:11:26 am by smoltchanov »Logged

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Franzl
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« Reply #17 on: June 05, 2012, 10:17:08 am »
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Well obviously I'm assuming normal parliamentary conditions, including the existence of multiple parties. Of course, depending on your election system, that can also lead to majorities, see UK or Canada.

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« Reply #18 on: June 05, 2012, 10:20:40 am »
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Centrists still have a place because you define whether a party wins or not. Only the conservatives can sort of get to 50% in an election (liberals can't) and that's in special cases where they then overreach and get thrown out. Parties have to decide for themselves how they woo centrists.
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smoltchanov
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« Reply #19 on: June 05, 2012, 10:22:00 am »
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Well obviously I'm assuming normal parliamentary conditions, including the existence of multiple parties. Of course, depending on your election system, that can also lead to majorities, see UK or Canada.



In UK as well as Canada there is more then 2 big parties, and, while they are more ideologized then American parties of the past - i wouldn't say so abot present day US political parties. So, there is more initiative for compromise there. US had it's "local dictators" like Huey Long already - now try to imagine such person in WH with solid congressional majority. Will there be a place for second party in such case? Not sure.
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smoltchanov
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« Reply #20 on: June 05, 2012, 10:26:30 am »
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Centrists still have a place because you define whether a party wins or not. Only the conservatives can sort of get to 50% in an election (liberals can't) and that's in special cases where they then overreach and get thrown out. Parties have to decide for themselves how they woo centrists.

My experience on even "advanced" partisan sites, like above mentioned DKE and RRH, goes contrary to your logic - no one likes to hear unpleasant things about themselves, even if you agree with them in other cases. I was banned twice on one site and once on another (with logic being "you irritate too many people here and don't play by the rules") simply for disagreeing with majority rather often))). So i didn't noticed big "wooing"))))). But i heard a lot of slurs and offensive words)))
« Last Edit: June 05, 2012, 10:28:10 am by smoltchanov »Logged

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brittain33
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« Reply #21 on: June 05, 2012, 10:27:27 am »
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Centrists still have a place because you define whether a party wins or not. Only the conservatives can sort of get to 50% in an election (liberals can't) and that's in special cases where they then overreach and get thrown out. Parties have to decide for themselves how they woo centrists.

My experience on even "advanced" partisan sites, like above mentioned DKE and RRH, goes contrary to your logic - no one likes to hear unpleasant things about themselves, even if you agree with them in other cases. I was banned twice on one site and once on another (with logic being "you irritate too many people here and don't play by the rules") simply for disagreeing with majority rather often))). So i didn't noticed big "wooing")))))

Forget commenters on the Internet. That doesn't count.
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smoltchanov
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« Reply #22 on: June 05, 2012, 10:29:45 am »
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Forget commenters on the Internet. That doesn't count.

Then look at present day american politics. With centrist  politicians almost permanently attacked by "activists". The only difference being - from the left in Democratic case, from the right - in Republican. And with "DINO!" and "RINO!" accusations flying left and right)))))
« Last Edit: June 05, 2012, 10:36:20 am by smoltchanov »Logged

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brittain33
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« Reply #23 on: June 05, 2012, 10:35:40 am »
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Forget commenters on the Internet. That doesn't count.

Then look at present day american politics. With centrist  politicians almost permanently attacked by "activists". The only difference being - from the left in Democratic case, from the right - in Republican

Our institutions make it impossible for either party to carry out its agenda except under extraordinary circumstances like the 6-month period when the Dems had 60 senators. Frustration breeds resentment.
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smoltchanov
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« Reply #24 on: June 05, 2012, 10:40:18 am »
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Our institutions make it impossible for either party to carry out its agenda except under extraordinary circumstances like the 6-month period when the Dems had 60 senators. Frustration breeds resentment.

Then why it's different in Germany, UK and Canada? Theoretically - a multiparty parliamentary system must lead to greater number of stalemates, and thus - to more frustration then relatively "straightforward" American one. But we don't see anything like "tea-party movement" there... And much less extremism as of late. May be their politicians finally learned that "politics is an art of compromise", while American - did't?Huh?
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