Feb 10 2008

The End Of Hyper-Partisanship

Published by at 10:37 am under 2008 Elections,All General Discussions

Some folks are starting to finally awaken to the theme of this election cycle – and it is to stay out of the partisan fringes. One Washington Post article notes clear and unambiguous poll data highlighting the trend:

n fact, there’s a simple reason why the chattering classes have so consistently called this election wrong. They’re missing the most important dynamic of this race: the appearance of a crucially important new bloc of voters who are clamoring for bold, nonpartisan solutions and are disgusted with today’s Washington politics. But the candidates themselves are missing something, too — a bold, simple and overwhelmingly popular idea that would upend the presidential race.

Voters today aren’t just fed up with the status quo; they’re furious. In a Gallup poll last month, only 24 percent of Americans said they were satisfied with the state of the country — one of the lowest readings ever recorded. And it’s not just George W. Bush they’re mad at. Public approval ratings for the Democratic-controlled Congress are even lower than the president’s. According to a 2006 poll taken by my former firm, Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates, 61 percent of voters say the two major parties are failing, and a survey last year by the Republican pollster Frank Luntz showed that 81 percent of voters would consider voting for an independent this year.

It seems this reactive center is even given a new moniker: “”restless and anxious moderates,” (RAMs). I prefer Fed Up Moderates Insisting on New Government (FUMING). Whatever the moniker, the voters are not following the establishment or the hyper-partisans. They have failed us for too long now. If folks are interested in the history of those who brought us to this point of complete disillusionment and frustration the NY Times has a piece out discussing the falling American political establishment.

Both articles are noting the fact the voters are resisting the pundits and partisans, and it is continuing this far into the primary process.

16 responses so far

16 Responses to “The End Of Hyper-Partisanship”

  1. crosspatch says:

    People are sick and tired of the Orwellian politics. People are tired of the Democrats saying that they will cut earmarks only to simply change the mechanism for inserting them and then produce a bill with the largest amount in earmarks ever in history. People are tired of politicians that turn around and do exactly what they accuse the other side of doing or do exactly what they promise not to do. It is a world of political doublespeak straight out of Orwell’s 1984 and people are sick of it.

    The boomer Democrat politicians got on the bandwagon built by the Vietnam style anti-war agitators and discovered that there was really no popular support for a “lose at all costs” agenda. The first Gulf war is as distant a cultural memory to my son as World War II was to me. The Vietnam war might as well be World War I to him in the context of its relevance to today. He is no more connected to that 1960’s anti-war thinking than I am to the fashions of flappers.

    There’s a certain narcissism with politicians who seem to think that whatever is important to them MUST be important to the people and what you are seeing is the backlash that happens when that isn’t true.

    It is going to get worse before it gets better. As the baby boom becomes the retirement boom and millions of homes go on the market to cash in that retirement nest egg, home depreciation is going to accelerate. Boomers retiring in droves is going to put huge pressures on the social security system. The boomers are going to be mighty upset and that upset is going to be bipartisan.

    When they can’t find money for social security checks, people are going to get mighty upset about the billions of dollars in earmarks that were sent to home districts over the years.

  2. MerlinOS2 says:

    Nice to see the middle grounders are buying hook line and sinker the tactics of Reid / Pelosi and their ‘do nothing’ congress.

    Now some seem willing to just do something even if it’s wrong.

    Fine I will watch all the lemmings run as they must to the altar of compromise and see the new cooperations as Reid and Pelosi are enabled to get about 85% of what they wanted to start with.

    But it’s going to be progress I tell you! Movement will be done!

  3. AJStrata says:

    LOL! Ried and Pelosi not hyper-partisans Merlin??

    Merlin, we watched for 4 years now as hyper-partisans on the left and right could not do anything but torpedo each other. Failed GOP Congress followed by a failed Dem Congress….

    Yeah, watch and learn how good folks like Leiberman and Warner and Bush pull together to solve problems (imperfectly as is always the case) and you will see how zero-sum results in zero-support and some progress results in opportunities of more progress.

    LOL! The exaggerations left and right are becoming ludicrous and silly.

  4. the struggler says:


    congratulations on your new appointment to the FUMING party. HA!

  5. lurker9876 says:

    Hey, I don’t understand how the Democrats have just over 2000 delegates and the Republicans just over a grand.

    CP, when the Democrats campaigned back in November 2006 that they would clean up the corruption, I knew that they would not change.

    Both parties have failed to keep their promises to us. Remember Newt’s 1994 Contract to America? Have they honored that contract to America since? I don’t think so.

    I think Bush is the ONLY one that managed to keep MOST of his promises to us in the last twenty years.

  6. Terrye says:

    I think people are just tired of these socalled leaders spending all their time and energy trying to put the screws to each other.

    To hell with the rest of us. I think the reason Bush’s numbers are not as bad as some is that a lot of people think the president does care about the country. They are not sure about some of the rest of these people.

  7. lurker9876 says:

    Pelosi went on the air to declare Iraq…a failure.

    Geesh, what a way to display the “can’t do” attitude! No wonder she doesn’t get anything done!

  8. gcordua says:


    The press and the blogs are deeply innumerate and incapable of interpreting simple voting data. For instance:

    1. Kansas – 1.6 million Reg. voters| Rep. primary turnout?

  9. wiley says:

    This is nothing new, except maybe the volume is a bit louder. It reflects the design of our govt, with the checks, balances, and ability of a unified minority block to stop, slow or adjust legislation. It also reflects the makeup of our country, where we seem split on so many issues. So, in this regard, it’s not necessarily a bad thing that nothing seems to be getting done.

    Consider the 2006 congress. What if they had been successful implementing their agenda when they took control? Since this didn’t happen, the activist far-left wing remains angry and amped, but the rest of the country are probably content they’ve been stymied on Iraq, FISA-surveillance, Patriot Act, etc.
    On other issues, there’s enough popular support and/or urgency that govt action does happen, and even quickly at times (e.g., Afghanistan War, original Patriot Act, the current economic stimulus package). Something like the minimum wage increase reflects an issue with enough support to get implemented, but a strong enough opposition to limit the amount; most people were reasonably content with this outcome.

    The current volume of discontent traces back to 2000 for the left, and to the undoing of the GOP majority for the right. We all know about BDS, and until “W” leaves office anything he is for or tries to enact will be met with loud and knee-jerk opposition. And much of this opposition has been amped up by a liberal/dem biased MSM. On the right, the run-away spending, illegal immigration, too few conservative judges, growing entitlements, and congressional scandals were some of the drivers for rising frustration.
    And what about those in the middle? Well, they hear non-stop partisan attacks from both sides. On some issues they may lean left, others right, but all that seems to happen is attacks hurled and political posturing. All the while, the media is only too happy to play this anger up.

    For those like myself, a common-sense conservative, I was generally pleased with what got done during Bush’s tenure. Obviously, I wanted more in some areas (judges, stopping/slowing illegals) and less in others (spending, entitlements). But, the thing that has me angered is how the GOP congress fell prey to the corrupting influences of power & money, thus squandering chances to get more things accomplished and allowing the dems to re-gain control with the potential to enact some long-term damaging, liberal and lefty policies. Not surprising, the dem congress hasn’t learned a thing and continues earmarking and borderline ethical practices. This, no doubt, is the one area (corruption, scandal) that unites from across the political spectrum.

    I’ll wrap this up with illegal immigration. Most are frutrated or angered that no legislation has been passed to address this issue. While I want our govt to stop the onrush of illegal aliens flooding our country, I am glad that the McCain-Kennedy bill was not passed because I think it was a lousy bill that would have made the problem worse. While no legislation has been passed, there have been some incremental measures to improve border security. And with most of the candidates singing the same tune on the priority of border security, I think the debate/solution space has improved. So, in this instance, voters are frustrated that no legislation has been enacted, but the flip side is a bad bill (or one perceived bad by many) did not get implemented. This is an important issue, and eventually the popular will is pushing the political class to come to a more comprehensive solution (not the fake comprehensive measure in McCain-Kennedy) that most can live with. Of course, this outcome is not a certainty, and I’m less confident with dems in control (the GOP’ers learned too late). But there has been a loud enough outcry in local districts across the country that I’m cautiously optimistic.

  10. Whippet1 says:

    Another good one. Well said.

  11. crosspatch says:

    Absolutely nothing is going to be done on immigration as long as it is profitable to maintain things just the way they are. I wonder how many 1000 dollar donations the drug cartels manage to route to politicians that are against whichever bill is being worked on at any given moment. My guess is that billions are being funneled into the coffers of politicians who are prepared to scuttle any kind of real change.

    There will never, ever be a fence, for example. The drug cartels would never stand for it. It would take millions of dollars to build one and a few hundred bucks to destroy it. I like the “virtual fence” idea because there is nothing for the drug cartels to blow up or punch holes into. Use UAVs, electronic sensors, and other technology to watch the border. And that way the border people can conveniently look the other way when the drug shipments come across.

    The illicit drugs business is literally billions of dollars. Spending a couple of million to protect billions isn’t such a bad cost of business.

  12. wiley says:

    CP is more cynical than I am. And maybe he’s right. But, my understanding is 600-700 miles of double wall fence was built south of San Diego that has made a huge difference there. Of course, the terrain and other factors make a continuous wall/fence unreasonable and unnecessary. Just as the illegal alien/immigration issue requires a comprehensive solution, not just beefed up border security, so does the border require a variety of measures.

    Rudy is out of the race, but I thought he was a credible candidate much more because of how he turned around a dirty, crime-ridden, financially desperate city with strong dem/liberal opposition, than for what he did in aftermath of 9-11. Point is, it can happen and based on the rhetoric, we’ve been heard. We’ll see …

  13. Terrye says:


    I don’t think any fence you build will be good enogh for people like Malkin or Tancredo. I don’t think they really care about illegal immigration so much as they see the issue as a flame thrower. It is useful to them.

    No, the last thing the drug dealers and the hardliners want is a solution to this problem. So long as they can sabotage compromise they will. They like things just the way they are.

  14. Terrye says:

    As far as hyper partisanship is concerned, the whole point is that certain people on the right will not tolerate something that Ted Kennedy is part of, but unless people like Ted Kennedy are willing to either support it, or let is survive in some form…it can not pass. That is what politics is, compromise and consensus.

    People are tired of people who are more interested in making life difficult for the other side, than they are in getting things done..and that cuts both ways.

    In fact by throwing a hissy fit in 06, the right pretty much abandoned Bush, so they do not need to be using him to justify their hatred of John McCain today.

  15. Terrye says:

    BTW, after the right gets done sabotaging McCain and Obama becomes president, they can forget all this silliness about illegal immigration. I hear Obama supports drivers licenses for illegals. Oh yeah, that whole thing really worked out for these guys.

    The dazzling young phenom out there who is cleaning Clinton’s clock is polling ahead of most if not all Republicans and his stance on illegal immigration makes Juan McAmnesty look like Michael Savage.

    Think about that.

  16. wiley says:

    Terrye — you’re wrong. Who knows what he would actually do if elected, but if you read Obama’s stance on issues from his website, he basically talks tough on stopping illegal immigration. He offers a “comprehensive” solution that includes a guest worker program, but it is more to the right than McCain-Kennedy.

    And you need to get real on “getting things done”. Getting things done for the sake of getting things done is almost universally a bad thing for this country if Ted Kennedy is for it. Why do you think it is being amped up by the media now? Because their left-wing agenda is not getting implemented like they hoped. Sure, there are some issues we want action on, but action will be slow in coming until there is a solution path that a majority can get behind. Our country is simply too split for “quick” action, and this is certainly nothing new and in fact is how our govt was basically designed to function (re-read my initial post).