Who’s to “blame” for polarization?

posted at 11:40 am on February 1, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Earlier this week, the Washington Post ran an article with the curious headline, “Obama: The most polarizing President. Ever.”  While there is no doubt that Obama has been a polarizing figure, the certainty of that statement caught my eye.  As it turns out, the article itself doesn’t make that claim — it only says that Obama has the highest differential between approval ratings of each party in his third year than any President since Gallup has been tracking that data, which would be roughly since Eisenhower, I believe.  The selection of Obama leaves off Abraham Lincoln, whose election was so polarizing that it led to secession and the Civil War, or Richard Nixon during Watergate, to name just two examples.

Even apart from the absurd basis for the Post’s claim — George W. Bush had three higher polarization ratings, for instance — can we blame Presidents entirely for polarization?  In my column for The Week, I argue no, and that this results from a move in political parties from regional and traditional strongholds to more ideological entities:

 Both the Republican and Democratic parties have had decades-long shifts in political temperaments in their own search for first principles, starting with the Barry Goldwater candidacy in 1964 and the New Left’s arrival at the Democratic convention in 1968. In short, for almost 50 years, both parties have been changing in fits and starts from their traditional big-tent geographical roots to more ideological organizations. Where we once had plenty of crossover in Congress between blue-dog Democrats and Rockefeller Republicans, the politicians have now affiliated themselves to party by ideology. There has been a remarkable growth of division on non-unanimous votes, especially in the Senate.

It would be foolish to believe that elected officials have partitioned themselves off ideologically without having voters already do the same. Pressure from grassroots activists in both parties has transformed Republicans and Democrats into conservatives and progressives. There are still plenty of subvariants of both, and a spectrum within each group. But over the last 20 years, the notions of “conservative Democrat” and “liberal Republican” have taken on a sepia-tinged patina, a throwback to a bygone era.

There is something to be said for this development, as it tends to focus on actual principles of governance rather than just political expediency. That presents a more honest choice for the voter, even the unaffiliated and/or moderate voter who may not adhere to one set of principles. On the other hand, a little political expediency helps to get tasks accomplished, and the lack of crossover means that more of the routine tasks in Washington end up becoming battlegrounds for larger ideological principles.

Presidents are not disconnected from this process, of course, and presidents have a unique position in American politics from which to help temper or fan these ideological flames. They remain, however, a product of their times rather than a driver of the underlying currents that raised them to leadership positions. As much as we might want to lay the blame on Obama, Bush, or any other president, the actual blame or glory falls on us all.

Be sure to read it all; The Week’s site was down a little earlier, but the column also appears at Yahoo.  Speaking of personal responsibility for polarization, though, one theory holds that the online political culture causes people to stop accessing sources that challenge their worldview, especially blogs and blogreaders, and some blame that for increased polarization.  A new study by Ohio State shows that those who tend to visit friendly sites also tend more to visit sites challenging their perspective:

Despite the fears of some scholars and pundits, most political partisans don’t avoid news and opinion sources that contradict their own beliefs, according to a new study.

In fact, the more that self-described liberals and conservatives visited online sources supportive of their beliefs, the more likely they were to also view opposition websites, as well as general news sites.

“People aren’t systematically avoiding websites that challenge their political views,” said R. Kelly Garrett, co-author of the new study and assistant professor of communication at Ohio State University.

“They certainly are inclined to seek out sources that reinforce their views, but the more they do that, the more likely they are to at least sample sources that challenge their opinion.”

Garrett conducted the study with Dustin Carnahan and Emily Lynch, graduate students in political science at Ohio State.  Their results appear online in the journalPolitical Behavior and will be published in a future print edition.

Perhaps the result is that we tend to organize more honestly.  That has its pluses and minuses, but it puts the ideological and philosophical distinctions more clearly in play.  That’s neither Obama’s fault nor his beneficence, but simply a result of the evolution in American politics over a very long time that produced Obama as a party leader.

Update:  I clarified the last sentence in the first paragraph to make my meaning clear.  The “That” reference was really sloppy.


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Who’s to “blame” for polarization?

Easy one. Who’s the President?

Tim_CA on February 1, 2012 at 11:42 AM

Booooooosh!

Bmore on February 1, 2012 at 11:42 AM

“How can we be polarizing, we’ve never even been to the North Pole.”

-Joe Biden

Bishop on February 1, 2012 at 11:42 AM

All of them…to a degree.

annoyinglittletwerp on February 1, 2012 at 11:43 AM

That’s neither Obama’s fault nor his beneficence, but simply a result of the evolution in American politics over a very long time that produced Obama as a party leader.

Heh.

Nope…..this D-Bag hasn’t even made an effort. He disparages the Right every chance he gets…he’s forced unwanted edicts down the throat of the electorate, and has engaged in croneyism to an unheard of degree.

Stop drinking your breakfast.

Tim_CA on February 1, 2012 at 11:46 AM

Huffpo is a petri dish of the theory “avoid news and opinion sources that contradict their own beliefs”

-Headlines that bait liberals to read news stories with a certain spin.

-News stories that only enforce their agenda.

-Comments saturated with liberal parroting.

-Contradicting opinions in comments slammed with name calling and sarcasm.

The majority of my liberal friends (a number that shrinks monthly) get ALL their news at HuffPo. Uh oh.

Bensonofben on February 1, 2012 at 11:46 AM

I’ll huff-po, but I won’t Kos. That’s asking too much.

John the Libertarian on February 1, 2012 at 11:47 AM

“I won.” -B.O,

Bensonofben on February 1, 2012 at 11:48 AM

Well … as a conservative, I put most of the blame on the Left. :) I mean, they seem to see conflict where I see simple disagreement. And strangely, they seem to find people who disagree with them intolerable. Rather than agreeing to disagree, they’d rather believe “OK then you’re a racist and you hate poor people”. I think liberals are often stupid and wrong, in that they don’t understand that their feel-good policies today create more harm in the long run, such as the growing national debt. While liberals think I’m evil, hateful, selfish, heartless. So who’s creating a toxic atmosphere? They are.

Paul-Cincy on February 1, 2012 at 11:48 AM

A new study by Ohio State shows that those who tend to visit friendly sites also tend more to visit sites challenging their perspective …

… all the while missing the moderate middle.

bifidis on February 1, 2012 at 11:48 AM

“I won.”

(Has gone downhill from there.)

coldwarrior on February 1, 2012 at 11:48 AM

I’ll huff-po, but I won’t Kos. That’s asking too much.

John the Libertarian on February 1, 2012 at 11:47 AM

Posting at either is a fun-filled riot! Always fun to stir up a little trouble at the libtardian sites.

Tim_CA on February 1, 2012 at 11:49 AM

I bet the comments here are polarizing, too….

albill on February 1, 2012 at 11:49 AM

We have met the enemy, and he is us

E L Frederick (Sniper One) on February 1, 2012 at 11:50 AM

Each individual that uses the tactics that create the polerization are responsible for it. Hot Air for example used polerizing tactics against Newt these last few weeks. Now, I guess you can reap the rewards that those actions inevitably lead to, people who will not vote for your candidate under any circumstance.

astonerii on February 1, 2012 at 11:51 AM

Anyone who disagrees with this guy is either stupid or immoral, according to him.

This from a stupid, immoral, inexperienced, arrogant, worthless idiot.

Of course we’re polarized, it’s the Democrats fault for electing this clown.

NoDonkey on February 1, 2012 at 11:51 AM

since Gallup has been tracking that data, which would be roughly since Eisenhower, I believe. That leaves off Abraham Lincoln, whose election was so polarizing that it led to secession and the Civil War, or Richard Nixon during Watergate

? Richard Nixon came after Eisenhower

shaloma on February 1, 2012 at 11:52 AM

So Kos readers sometimes also read the NYT and watch CNN. That’s the fine print.

kunegetikos on February 1, 2012 at 11:52 AM

HOT AIR is not biased.

We let 2 or 3 liberals pepper the comments periodically with their opinions.

Bensonofben on February 1, 2012 at 11:53 AM

Ed writes:
Presidents are not disconnected from this process, of course, and presidents have a unique position in American politics from which to help temper or fan these ideological flames. They remain, however, a product of their times rather than a driver of the underlying currents that raised them to leadership positions.

I was rather hoping for a discussion of the headline of your piece “Obama is not the most polarizing president ever”. That concerns to what extent a President is NOT simply a product of their times. I wanted to hear whether Obama’s words and actions were polarizing, with examples and analysis. I felt like I ordered a steak and got served a tofu burger.

Paul-Cincy on February 1, 2012 at 11:55 AM

which would be roughly since Eisenhower, I believe. That leaves off Abraham Lincoln, whose election was so polarizing that it led to secession and the Civil War, or Richard Nixon during Watergate

I know you don’t think Nixon was president before Eisenhower, right? I think you were trying to say that the differential between supporters of Nixon and non-supporters was greater than Obama’s after three years.

RedCrow on February 1, 2012 at 11:56 AM

Who’s to “blame” for polarization?

Local radio is covering Jim Moran’s racist attack on Colonel West right now (realclearpolitics has the story). He essentially called Colonel West a clueless hyena and a slacker who is a traitor to his race. Obama, by contrast is a credit to his race and his public service is a living legacy. Nevermind that Colonel West served in the military including combat tours while Obama was supposedly running around Harvard and Jim Moran was sitting in Congress enjoying the spoils of Jack Murtha’s kickback machine.

So, I’m not saying that Moran is to blame for polarization but I am saying that nothing is going to change as long as white liberal moron’s are able to get away with this kind of incendiary and racist rhetoric. But the double standard needs to end as well. A white conservative Congressman could never get away with calling Maxine Waters or John Conyers a clueless hyena no matter how true that statement is.

Happy Nomad on February 1, 2012 at 11:57 AM

The other guy…it’s always the other guy’s fault!

Deafdog on February 1, 2012 at 11:59 AM

You should check out the Yahoo comments. Ed’s either a “lib-tard Obama apologist” or some Democrat lapdog in their opinion, lol. I doubt anyone even realizes who Ed is.

Mord on February 1, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Gallup has been tracking that data, which would be roughly since Eisenhower, I believe. That leaves off Abraham Lincoln, whose election was so polarizing that it led to secession and the Civil War, or Richard Nixon during Watergate,

Timeline problem: How does that leave out Nixon?

Extraneus on February 1, 2012 at 12:00 PM

The polarization is between those who love the USA and those who are too stupid, ignorant, or complicit in Obama’s desire to destroy the country.

RedCrow on February 1, 2012 at 12:00 PM

“How can we be polarizing, we’ve never even been to the North Pole.”

-Joe Biden

Bishop on February 1, 2012 at 11:42 AM

..is this an actual quote from Plugs? I did not see anything like it when I Googled. Not questioning you, Bishop. Just cannot believe that anyone could utter something so patently stupid.

Oh, wait.

The War Planner on February 1, 2012 at 12:01 PM

I know you don’t think Nixon was president before Eisenhower, right? I think you were trying to say that the differential between supporters of Nixon and non-supporters was greater than Obama’s after three years.

RedCrow on February 1, 2012 at 11:56 AM

I took him to mean that Nixon left office in his 2nd term before his 3rd year ended.

Paul-Cincy on February 1, 2012 at 12:01 PM

I wanted to hear whether Obama’s words and actions were polarizing, with examples and analysis.

Paul-Cincy on February 1, 2012 at 11:55 AM

Let’s not forget the weekend before the 2010 elections when Obama got on a Hispanic radio program and called Republicans the enemy.

Or when he decided to take sides in the scuffle between the Cambridge police department and his racist buddy.

Or the numerous times he goes to a town hall meeting and attacks Republican.

So…… Yes, Obama is a divisive politician who has no interest in working across party lines.

Happy Nomad on February 1, 2012 at 12:01 PM

I think a lot of liberals spend considerable effort to put down other news sites. I have been trying to understand why liberals are so obsessed over Fox News. They delight at such stupid antics as having Miss Piggy take a cheap shot at the network. It is like Fox News is the enemy of their well-being. It is just a news channel and the viewership isn’t really that big compared to all the TV shows and MSM outlets controlled by liberals. I just don’t see how that balances out with the Ohio State study.

earlgrey133 on February 1, 2012 at 12:03 PM

“I’ve got a pair of polarized sunglasses, but that doesn’t make me a bad person!”

-Joe Biden

Bishop on February 1, 2012 at 12:03 PM

He essentially called Colonel West a clueless hyena and a slacker who is a traitor to his race.

Happy Nomad on February 1, 2012 at 11:57 AM

..extreme apologies for nit-picking, but it is LtCol West. He retired an O-5, not an O-6. You can address him verbally as Colonel west but when writing his rank and name, it’s LtCol.

The War Planner on February 1, 2012 at 12:03 PM

“I’ve got a pair of polarized sunglasses, but that doesn’t make me a bad person!”

-Joe Biden

Bishop on February 1, 2012 at 12:03 PM

..oh, I see what you are doing. Late to the dance am I.

:-)

The War Planner on February 1, 2012 at 12:05 PM

I realize it has already been said (twice) but “I won” set the tone.

Fallon on February 1, 2012 at 12:05 PM

Who’s to “blame” for polarization?

The Liberal Media, namely the New York Times, who missed the fact that 400,000 people visited D.C. recently, yet it never happened.

Rovin on February 1, 2012 at 12:05 PM

Obama is the most polarizing, negative President in American history, by a long-shot. Remember when he said Republicans want dirty air, dirty water, people without jobs, etc.?

President Bush wasn’t polarizing, but his inner-circle and most ardent followers sure as hell were.

Aizen on February 1, 2012 at 12:06 PM

They drove the car into the ditch!
They can sit in the back seat!
etc. etc.

KOOLAID2 on February 1, 2012 at 12:06 PM

It’s not his fault that he’s destroying the country and wants to force Christians to hand out birth control pills.

Akzed on February 1, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Paul-Cincy on February 1, 2012 at 12:01 PM

Ah. You’re probably right. I was confused by his mention of the data collection, then saying that leaves off Lincoln, and including Nixon in the same sentence.

Is there ‘polarization data’ from Nixon’s presidency? (Not that I care all that much.)

RedCrow on February 1, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Some how it will come around to blaming the Tea Party. Wait for it.

FlaMurph on February 1, 2012 at 12:09 PM

Obama is the most polarizing, negative President in American history, by a long-shot. Remember when he said Republicans want dirty air, dirty water, people without jobs, etc.?

President Bush wasn’t polarizing, but his inner-circle and most ardent followers sure as hell were.

Aizen on February 1, 2012 at 12:06 PM

The last two years he had the Senate and the House dominated by the other party, unlike JugEars first two years.

KOOLAID2 on February 1, 2012 at 12:09 PM

Who’s to “blame” for polarization?

Sarah Palin of course. It’s one of many points on which Obamabots and Mittbots agree.

angryed on February 1, 2012 at 12:10 PM

To me, it’s because of the president treating conservatives like dogs, and online liberals treating conservatives like dogs.

Add to that all the lies – racist, spitting on congressmen, wanting to throw grandma from the cliff – and what’s left to like?

This has ruined any sense of national cohesion. And for me personally, having listened to this garbage for years now, it’s made me not care whether these people live or die. Now that’s polarization.

Alana on February 1, 2012 at 12:10 PM

After following the clues provided by the MRC I make sport of reading Reuters, AP, etc. For instance, just assume anything that is unsourced/anonymous is credited as an attempt to steer opinion. Right before the house came into session recently Reuters ran a piece that asserted the GOP was at war with the Tea Party with no named sources.

The very next week Reuters ran a story QUOTING Boehner and several others that no such thing is happening.

Once you learn the journalistic techniques that Bozell and the gang explains you can get much more information than they want you to know.

DanMan on February 1, 2012 at 12:10 PM

President Bush wasn’t polarizing, but his inner-circle and most ardent followers sure as hell were.

Aizen on February 1, 2012 at 12:06 PM

Bush’s best quality was in never responding in kind to nasty remarks about himself. Never complained. I’m sure he heard them, but he restrained himself from doing tit-for-tat, even with his bully pulpit. Then when he was out of office, he hardly said a word. WHEN Obama loses in 2012, I expect him to follow more in Carter’s and Clinton’s footsteps, rather than Bush’s.

Paul-Cincy on February 1, 2012 at 12:12 PM

“How can we be polarizing, we’ve never even been to the North Pole Poland.”

-Joe Biden

Bishop on February 1, 2012 at 11:42 AM

affenhauer on February 1, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Who’s to “blame” for polarization?

Bishop is.
Everything is Bishop’s fault.

annoyinglittletwerp on February 1, 2012 at 12:13 PM

The 2012 definition of polarization:

Do you want to be American

or

Do you want to be a Socialist

…………

What a great TV show that would be… “Who want’s to be a Socialist?”

/Starring Mitchmooch and her pooch Obama.

Key West Reader on February 1, 2012 at 12:14 PM

Bush’s best quality was in never responding in kind to nasty remarks about himself. Never complained. I’m sure he heard them, but he restrained himself from doing tit-for-tat, even with his bully pulpit. Then when he was out of office, he hardly said a word. WHEN Obama loses in 2012, I expect him to follow more in Carter’s and Clinton’s footsteps, rather than Bush’s.

Paul-Cincy on February 1, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Of course. One thing that can never be said about Bush was that he lowered the Office of the Presidency. Obama whined, moaned and acted out like a child even when his own stupid party controlled Congress.

Aizen on February 1, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Obama has raised polarization to an art form! He’s been a class-warfare specialist since becoming a community organizer.

Bob in VA on February 1, 2012 at 12:15 PM

We carry in our hearts the true country
And that cannot be stolen
We follow in the steps of our ancestry
And that cannot be broken

J_Crater on February 1, 2012 at 12:16 PM

Then when he was out of office, he hardly said a word. WHEN Obama loses in 2012, I expect him to follow more in Carter’s and Clinton’s footsteps, rather than Bush’s.

Paul-Cincy on February 1, 2012 at 12:12 PM

..are you kidding? Unfettered by the decorum dictated by the office of president, this weak sniveling little man will be on every talk show and every cable outlet (even BORE on FNS) and be whining about what a rotten deal he got. It will be ceaseless and make Carter and Clinton look like the paragon of statesmanship.

It will, to choose a word, be pathetic.

The War Planner on February 1, 2012 at 12:16 PM

The last two years he had the Senate and the House dominated by the other party, unlike JugEars first two years.

KOOLAID2 on February 1, 2012 at 12:09 PM

IOTW: America has been dominated by the left since 2006.

How many bites does it take to get to the goal of socialism….

?

Key West Reader on February 1, 2012 at 12:17 PM

Shouldn’t the media get some credit for the polarization of the country. Cute how they create a problems and then report on it.

earlgrey133 on February 1, 2012 at 12:17 PM

In fact, the more that self-described liberals and conservatives visited online sources supportive of their beliefs, the more likely they were to also view opposition websites, as well as general news sites.

It is ancedotal, but *none* of the liberals I know look for alternative views, and in fact react in indignation over even moderate news sources like FOXN.

As a conservative it is impossible for me to cocoon myself that way, even if I wanted to. The mass media pushes leftist views to such an extent that it you get the leftist view on issues just watching movies or TV.

18-1 on February 1, 2012 at 12:18 PM

J_Crater on February 1, 2012 at 12:16 PM

I think that’s Australia…

affenhauer on February 1, 2012 at 12:19 PM

Ed, I think you’ve only hit one of the symptoms, not the root of the problem. The country is becoming more polarized because the Constitution gradually is being turned upside down. The most represetative and responsive government is the most local. City concil should have the most impact on my daily living, the state less and the federal gov’t even less. That way I don’t have to follow laws they want in New York and California so I don’t see them as an enemy. You could even take the progression down to family and ultimately the individual having the most control over his or her life.

It’s hard enough making choices that make everyone in your household happy – and yet DC wants to me the once making more and more choices that 330 million people have to follow. And the state government has far more power than local. In Lansing, they need to write laws that affect me and the people of Detroit – everyone one is bound to make either them or me upset and more angry with the other group who wants these laws.

So who is to blame? Anyone who wants to give more power to big goverment and take it away from the local levels.

miConsevative on February 1, 2012 at 12:19 PM

“We don’t mind the Republicans joining us. They can come for the ride, but they gotta sit in back.”

“Bitter Clingers”

“Fat Cats”

“Social Justice”

Polarizing the Alinsky way.

Fletch54 on February 1, 2012 at 12:19 PM

The War Planner on February 1, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Fair enough on the nit-picking. Frankly, I’m more riled about Jim Moran getting away with calling West a clueless hyena than I am with the difference between O-5 and O-6.

This kind of rhetoric is exactly why I think it is impossible for the GOP to work with Democrats on anything.

Happy Nomad on February 1, 2012 at 12:20 PM

“Polarization…is that how mommy and daddy polar bears make little polar bears?”

-Joe Biden

Bishop on February 1, 2012 at 12:21 PM

Remember who’s fault it was back in 2004? From Washingon Post:

What went wrong with Bush’s pledge to change the tone? …

Democrats, and some independent observers, say that if Bush had been serious about changing the tone in Washington, he would have sought to reach common ground with his opponents, and not just use civil words while forcing an unyielding agenda on them. Starting with Bush’s first tax cut and extending through the response to terrorism and the Iraq war, he has been uncompromising, they say.

“It’s his way or no way,” said Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), the Senate minority whip. “He’s a man who campaigned on having a better relationship, and it’s exactly the opposite of what he said he would do. I’ve never served with anybody who is so uncooperative.”

_RobRob on February 1, 2012 at 12:22 PM

It is ancedotal, but *none* of the liberals I know look for alternative views, and in fact react in indignation over even moderate news sources like FOXN.

As a conservative it is impossible for me to cocoon myself that way, even if I wanted to. The mass media pushes leftist views to such an extent that it you get the leftist view on issues just watching movies or TV.

18-1 on February 1, 2012 at 12:18 PM

Ditto here. Instead, they assure themselves it’s not “real news”.

I keep begging a liberal friend of mine to read other sources, but he never does.

Alana on February 1, 2012 at 12:22 PM

Who’s to “blame” for polarization?

El Presidente Downgrade.

Next question.

Chip on February 1, 2012 at 12:24 PM

War planner
Heck, he’ll probably partner up with “tingles” won’t that be exciting!

angrymike on February 1, 2012 at 12:24 PM

The selection of Obama leaves off Abraham Lincoln, whose election was so polarizing that it led to secession and the Civil War, or Richard Nixon during Watergate, to name just two examples.

True enough, but I think it is also fair to say that, unlike with Lincoln and Nixon, it was Obama’s intention to polarize.

Knott Buyinit on February 1, 2012 at 12:26 PM

Bishop
Lmao stop! Na don’t

angrymike on February 1, 2012 at 12:26 PM

I’ll huff-po, but I won’t Kos. That’s asking too much.

John the Libertarian on February 1, 2012 at 11:47 AM

Posting at either is a fun-filled riot! Always fun to stir up a little trouble at the libtardian sites.

Tim_CA on February 1, 2012 at 11:49 AM

Yaaaaaaaaaaa …
I just love it when I occasionally post at PuffHo. My e-mail gets filled with the most vicious and hateful vitriol, they’ve kept me away.
Who needs the aggravation?

~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on February 1, 2012 at 12:27 PM

I think I have to respectfully disagree with Ed on this one. I do believe this president has been the most polarizing ever.

It began when he (and Michelle) used race during the campaign. “I may not look like the presidents on the dollar bill” or “Barack might get shot pumping gas…”.

It continued when he used class warfare as his primary tactic during the campaign.

He set the divisiveness ball in motion officially by slamming his predecessor during his inauguration speech.

He continued it by his open and vocal support for unions and silence during the tea party. Terms like “get in your neighbors face…” etc.

Throughout his presidency he has repeatedly mocked the American people that disagree with him. I have no recollection of any previous president mocking us citizens.

I could go on. The man cares more about ego and power than about fixing America. And he has surrounded himself with people of the same ilk. One year ago this week Valerie Jarrett asked a uniformed officer at a banquet to get her a glass of wine. Barbara Boxer chastised a General for calling her ma’am. This attitude is pervasive throughout the administration.

TheLoudTalker on February 1, 2012 at 12:28 PM

In fact, the more that self-described liberals and conservatives visited online sources supportive of their beliefs, the more likely they were to also view opposition websites, as well as general news sites.

It is ancedotal, but *none* of the liberals I know look for alternative views, and in fact react in indignation over even moderate news sources like FOXN.

As a conservative it is impossible for me to cocoon myself that way, even if I wanted to. The mass media pushes leftist views to such an extent that it you get the leftist view on issues just watching movies or TV.

18-1 on February 1, 2012 at 12:18 PM

Exactly!

You can’t swing a dead terrorist with hitting a new source pitching the latest leftist propaganda.

Example: if you listen to talk radio you will invariably be bombarded every ½ hour with the Socialist National Media’s spin on things.

The Left on the other hand – well, let’s just say that NPR – National Progressive Radio probably doesn’t have that much of a balanced approach.

Our National cadre of Socialists can exist in little echo chamber and never hear a discouraging word about the constant failure of their Marxist agenda.

Chip on February 1, 2012 at 12:32 PM

The Left on the other hand – well, let’s just say that NPR – National Progressive Radio probably doesn’t have that much of a balanced approach.

Chip on February 1, 2012 at 12:32 PM

You had to go there! It is an excellent example of polarization in America. Ask a conservative about NPR and they will tell you how biased NPR is. Ask a liberal about NPR and they will tell just how balanced the programming is. Both positions can’t be right but liberals are just as convinced that NPR is fair as I am that it is a left-wing propaganda outlet.

Happy Nomad on February 1, 2012 at 12:37 PM

Zzzzz. Reads like a hunt for tripe to me.

Dusty on February 1, 2012 at 12:40 PM

Karl Magnus on February 1, 2012 at 12:27 PM

LMAO….I keep a special g-mail account for KOS, Huffpo, any “Disquss” site, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN and MSLSD.

I’ve never read a response, and log-in ONLY to empty the inbox.

Tim_CA on February 1, 2012 at 12:43 PM

Both positions can’t be right but liberals are just as convinced that NPR is fair as I am that it is a left-wing propaganda outlet.

Actually, they can in a way, if you imagine the close mindedness of your average liberals.

From my perspective a news source is balanced if it either forgoes narative and opinion completely, or if it has a fair mix from rightwing conservative to leftwing liberal.

Liberals only consider a narrow band of views to be legitimate though. Generally going from center/left to Euro-socialist. And indeed, NPR does present a “fair” mix of this part of the political spectrum.

18-1 on February 1, 2012 at 12:47 PM

Fletch54 on February 1, 2012 at 12:19 PM

don’t forget

I WON

cmsinaz on February 1, 2012 at 12:50 PM

…Of course we’re polarized, it’s the Democrats fault for electing this clown.

NoDonkey on February 1, 2012 at 11:51 AM

It’s the Democrats’ fault for nominating him to run for president. It was Bush’s warmongering and attacks on human rights (see “Enhanced Interrogation”) and attacks on the freedom and liberty of American citizens (see Patriot Act) in the name of “national security” that got President Obama elected into office. Many who voted for Obama did so as a way to “punish” the Republican Party and its establishment cronies. We have all been punished as a result.

BOTH of the corrupt, treasonous, criminal political parties and their feeble camp followers are to blame for most of this nation’s woes.

AttaBoyLuther on February 1, 2012 at 12:54 PM

Funny that my liberal/progressive friends tell me that Fox News isn’t “really” news, yet they get most all of their “real news” from the Comedy Channel…

Strike Hornet on February 1, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Karl Magnus on February 1, 2012 at 12:27 PM

LMAO….I keep a special g-mail account for KOS, Huffpo, any “Disquss” site, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN and MSLSD.

I’ve never read a response, and log-in ONLY to empty the inbox.

Tim_CA on February 1, 2012 at 12:43 PM

Ever notice that most of the time, our esteemed socialist comrades from the Democratic National Committee are incapable of having rational and logical discussions?

It readily shows the abject weakness of their ideology – except they don’t know it – yet.

It’s very entertaining to wander in and defeat their ideological talking points with simple logic and reasoning and see them go off the deep end.

Chip on February 1, 2012 at 1:02 PM

Is this supposed to be satire?

dmann on February 1, 2012 at 1:04 PM

Is this supposed to be satire?

[dmann on February 1, 2012 at 1:04 PM]

No, it’s another one of Ed’s “to be fair” posts which employs the same equivalency* meme used by most in the legacy media to get the real culprit off the hook.

* See also “cycle of violence” meme.

Dusty on February 1, 2012 at 1:23 PM

It’s very entertaining to wander in and defeat their ideological talking points with simple logic and reasoning and see them go off the deep end.

Chip on February 1, 2012 at 1:02 PM

lmao….yep…fun, easy, and always entertaining to watch ‘em go batsh!t crazy when challenged by even a semi-coherent non-mouth-breather!

Tim_CA on February 1, 2012 at 1:27 PM

Aw man….OT but Don Cornelius offed himself…..used to watch Soul Train as a youngster.

Tim_CA on February 1, 2012 at 1:33 PM

Huffpo readers think the MSM contradicts their world view. They are incapable of seeing media bias. The “echo chamber” is the liberal blogosphere + the MSM.

DHChron on February 1, 2012 at 1:42 PM

It’s one of many points on which Obamabots and Mittbots agree.

angryed on February 1, 2012 at 12:10 PM

So in your Parallel Universe, those who support a President who has repeatedly apologized for America are equal to those who support a guy running for President who actually likes his country?

Del Dolemonte on February 1, 2012 at 1:46 PM

Del Dolemonte on February 1, 2012 at 1:46 PM

In my parallel universe we drill for oil instead of paying Brazil to do the same. We green light free market policies to create jobs instead of subsidizing failed technologies. We realize electric cars run on dirty coal supplied electricity and Climate Change is a scam.

I know. Like that would ever happen anywhere.

DHChron on February 1, 2012 at 1:55 PM

Alinsky. (with help from his mentor, Lucifer)

Cleombrotus on February 1, 2012 at 2:15 PM

_RobRob on February 1, 2012 at 12:22 PM

Wow, that WaPo steaming heap has more holes than a piece of domestic Swiss Cheese.

They also throw a lot of Leftist straw men into the article, such as:

“I am optimistic that we can change the tone in Washington, D.C.,” he said after the Supreme Court cemented his victory.

This is one of the very first sentences in the story, so immediately sets the tone for the WaPo Leftist “readers” that Bush didn’t legitimately win the election. It leaves out the Inconvenient Truths in that story, such as the fact that all the Supreme Court did was dismiss the challenge by Bush’s “opponent”. It ignores that his “opponent” would never have needed to win the State of Florida if he had instead won his own home state, and it ignores that of the 3 SCOTUS decisions in the case, one was 9-0 against Gore, and the decision that “cemented his victory” was 7-2 against Gore.

Another passage caught my eye:

Democrats are particularly critical of Bush for his response to the 2001 terrorist attacks after the first few months of national unity. They say he used his popularity to bully them on the budget, taxes and the environment. “The tone changes as long as you’re having a monologue,” said Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.), a former Clinton aide. “If you question them one iota, they challenge your patriotism.”

And yet it was the Democrats themselves who said “Dissent is Patriotic”, but then supported and elected a pResident who set up an “Attack Watch” website so his peasants could Turn In the Traitors who dared to voice their displeasure with their Dear Leader.

And this followed:

Democrats were stung by the fight with Bush over competing versions of homeland security legislation, which became part of the 2002 campaign. Bush claimed that his opponents in the Senate were “more interested in special interests . . . than they are in protecting the American people.” They resent his celebration of the GOP’s “positive” campaign of 2002, including a Georgia Senate race in which a Democratic incumbent who lost three limbs in the Vietnam War was portrayed as aiding Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein.

This explosive passage implies that Bush had personally knowledge and had no problem with the ad that Saxby Chambliss ran against “a Democratic incumbent who lost three limbs in the Vietnam War” (more on him later).

In reality, the controversial TV ad Chambliss ran said no such thing about his opponent. At the very beginning of the ad is a brief flash of the pictures of bin Laden and Saddam (total air time 3 seconds) and Chambliss’ opponent’s picture is not shown until after they are gone. And the ad itself never accuses the Democrat of “aiding” bin Laden and Saddam, it simply and correctly notes that said opponent voted against Chimpy Bush’s national security efforts 11 times.

Here’s the ad:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKFYpd0q9nE

And speaking of Chambliss’ Democrat opponent, this passage implies that Max Cleland, the “Democratic incumbent who lost three limbs in the Vietnam War” lost those limbs in combat; in reality he lost the limbs by accidentally dropping a live grenade while boarding a helicopter to go to a party.

This article came out before the 2004 election. And we all know how the Democrats reacted to that loss.

Like Children.

Del Dolemonte on February 1, 2012 at 2:24 PM

any President since Gallup has been tracking that data, which would be roughly since Eisenhower, I believe. The selection of Obama leaves off Abraham Lincoln, whose election was so polarizing that it led to secession and the Civil War, or Richard Nixon during Watergate, to name just two examples.

I think Eisenhower was president a bit before Nixon …

darcee on February 1, 2012 at 2:37 PM

The Democrats and the Media.

SansJeux on February 2, 2012 at 12:01 AM

Liberals, the press, the Democratic party, and the sitting President are the cause of most the current polarization in the U.S. today. There is no such thing as honest dialogue or reasoned debate if any of the above participate.

zoyclem on February 2, 2012 at 11:47 AM