AJ Strata has a very good post up on the issues I’m debating w/commenter Chris below.
What does this all mean? Well the American people are leading the surge away from the hyper-partisans and the muck-raking, purity wars. Not only were the parties raging against each other – they had turned on the moderate middle and attacked with visceral hate towards anyone who could â€™sell outâ€™ and reach compromise. And of course the support for both sides of the aisle tanked as each end of the spectrum tried to see who could denigrate the midstream voters the most.
He goes on:
It began with Joe Lieberman in CT when that state – very democrat – rejected the hyper-partisan Dem Ned Lamont for the moderate (e.g., “traitor”) and independent Senator Lieberman. It continued on as George Allen and Rick Santorum and host of other strong conservatives were replaced by more moderate democrats who straddled the center line of politics. And it continues on today with McCain leading the GOP contest, causing all sorts of emotional breakdowns on the right, and Obama on the verge of ending the divisive and destructive (to the dems) Clinton era.
Interestingly, AJ’s a conservative, but thinks the left (Obama) will do better in tacking to the middle. And I’ll point out that he regrets it. He also nails the role of the blogs:
The blogosphere and AM talk radio brought together the large community of political junkies who are, by their nature, probably closer to hyper-partisans than average Americans. Talk Radio and political blogosphere sometimes forget they are not a majority but a micro-minority that was starting to gain the ear of America. My feeling is many Americans, who are not hyper-partisans, have started to turn away from these media because they are repulsed, embarrassed or simply tired of being insulted.
Here’s where I get to drag out my favorite Schaar quote:
“Finally, if political education is to effective it must grow from a spirit of humility on the part of the teachers, and they must overcome the tendencies toward self-righteousness and self-pity which set the tone of youth and student politics in the 1960’s. The teachers must acknowledge common origins and common burdens with the taught, stressing connection and membership, rather than distance and superiority. Only from these roots can trust and hopeful common action grow.”
Read the whole thing, as they say.