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Partisan Divide Widens Again in National Journal Ideological Rankings
For the third year in a row, which also is the third year since they began tracking this partisan indicator, National Journal’s yearly ideological ranking of Congress and the US Senate shows that there is no overlap between the two major parties. Up until three years ago, the norm, since they began doing this partisan tracking ,was to have at least some republicans that were to the left of some centrist to moderate democrats, and some democrats who were to the right of some centrist to moderate republicans.
This should come as no surprise to any readers of this site. Every cycle over the last several, we’ve seen more moderates in both parties quit in frustration over partisan vitriol, gridlock and lack of support from their own party. We’ve seen many of the centrist and moderate members who decide to stay in office attacked from inside their own parties during partisan primaries as well.
The end result is a lack of people who can work with ideologically similar people across the aisle, an increase in hyper-partisan hatred, increase in tribalistic political gamesmanship and a whole lot of nothing getting done in Washington. As the video below mentions, however, there are a few issues where there seems to be enough cross-spectrum support for action; namely on immigration, and on some aspects of gun related legislation.
Partisan Gridlock Looms Large Over Few Cases of Cooperation
But big issues loom large over these few examples of nonpartisan legislative progress. The President is still able to pretend that he has some high ground in the debate over debt and deficits, as the republicans one up the democrats and act even more irresponsible.
The GOP’s “Party of No” act seems to be second nature by now, which is made even more sad in how it makes it easier for people to forget that the President and his party had two years to enact the sort of “balanced approach” he’s saying he now supports. Actions, or in this case inaction, speaks louder than the empty words that Obama and the democrats have been delivering on supposedly balanced debt and deficit reduction plans that have never materialized into actual plans that are voted on.
Not to mention neither side is even honest enough to begin any conversation on debt and deficits without naked partisan spin of the numbers, glossing over the dire nature of the situation in an effor to make it seem like the hard choices we need them to make aren’t really a problem at all. Their fairy tales are different, but put them together and all we have is a recipe for fiscal ruin.
Perhaps not in the short term, while these hacks are still in office, but no longer in the long term either – it’s looming in the medium term now. How far down that road… depends on how far this game of partisan kicking of the can down the road was able to delay the inevitable, and shaft future generations in the process.
So all we’re left with is one party with center-left rhetoric and a track record of inaction when they had the opportunity and power to act, and another that is openly hostile to any sort of sensible approach to getting our country on a path back toward fiscal sanity. Just another example of how our politics has fallen so far that all we have to choose from is terrible option A (D) and even worse option B (R).
Anyone want to venture a bet on going four for four next year, with the partisan divide widening even further, and for at least another 4, 6, 8… maybe ten years more to come?