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March 22, 2010


The promise of a "postpartisan" Washington was about as absurd as electing Obama creating a "post-racial" America.

Here's to hoping Skip Gates is doing better.

"...the effort to be the nonpolarizing president"

ROTFLMAO. Obama's "effort to be nonpolarizing" included
-- Socializing substantial portion of auto industry
-- Giving GM to the union rather than the senior bond-holders
-- Moving toward socialized medicine with a plan that accepted no Republican ideas
-- Frequently insulting George Bush and other Republicans.
-- Giving Democratic patrons lots and lots of goodies to in the so-called "stimulus" bill.
-- Excluding Republican ideas for fighting the recession in the "stimulus bill".

The New York Times has no comics pages. Their comedy appears within their editorials and news analyses.

Couldn't have said it better myself. If Beinart was blaming Obama for failing to end polarization he was surely off the mark. From this distance across the Pacific the 'politics as usual'troglodytes in the GOP deserve a good proportion of the blame.


Your point is well taken that perhaps we can’t blame the President for current party polarization. The essays you mention possibly say more about the unrealistic expectations of the writers about Obama’s ability or create less polarization, given his campaign speeches to that effect.

However, your use of Yglesias’ comment that “there was no one in the GOP caucuses to compromise with” seems more an argument for Obama’s polarizing tendencies than against them.

If two parties can’t find common ground to compromise around, it means either one (or both) of the parties occupy extreme positions – the kind of extreme positions that are most polarizing. With that in mind, which is more likely: that every single one of the opposition holds extreme polarizing positions or that that President holds an extreme polarizing position?

Occam’s razor would suggest the latter. After all, many of the opposition GOP have found areas to agree with the Democrats at times in the past, so they are unlikely all to be extreme.

One other item that your argument doesn’t address is the influence of the independent voter, where polarization really occurs – the base of each party will generally love or hate their on guy regardless of his positions on a few issues.

In nearly all polls I’ve seen, the President’s position on Healthcare has swung from early approval by independents of the idea of health reform to strong disapproval of the (near) final legislation. These statistics tend to support the “polarizing” argument.

Obama isn't polarizing...he eventually won reluctant support from Dennis Kuninich. That's bridge building at its best.


Obama has hurled insults to both Republicans and our Supreme court in his State of the Union. To suggest that he bears no blame is laughable.

Now, if you had stated that Pelosi and like share the blame, then I would be in total agreement. The fact is Republicans are a minority and have little to no say in how the HCR bills were written. Simply put, they were ignored. The President could have and should have made it his business to not let that happen with such sweeping legislation such as HCR. But he did and now there will be a price to pay.

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