Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 27, 2014

Enough Already About Political Polarization

Jonathan Bernstein has had enough of the focus on partisan polarization.

“Yes, it’s important to note the distance between the parties, and to try to understand what’s driving polarization. Fine. I’m not suggesting that research on those issues should cease, or that scholars and journalists should ignore them.”

But: “Polarization alone doesn’t make good government impossible … The key isn’t the distance between the parties; it’s the willingness to compromise. That isn’t measured by partisan polarization scores. Put another way, government shutdowns don’t happen because the policy gap between the parties is large; they happen when one party (or a decisive faction within a party) decides to shut down the government.”

“Instead of focusing on polarization, I’d like to see more attention paid to how we can help our political institutions perform better given current conditions.”

  • molosky

    Yes, polarization is fact of life we must accept and move on.

    We must shift to easier goals such as changing the constitution to adapt to it.

    Should have that banged out by Wednesday, I figure, given the cooperative attitude among our politic…oh wait…doh!

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