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How often does some well-meaning soul say, “Democrats and Republicans should put aside their differences and just do what’s right for the country.”
That sounds perfectly reasonable. But it’s perfectly unrealistic. The differences are over what’s right for the country. And the differences are fundamental and unbridgeable.
How, for example, would the two parties compromise on Obamacare? How do you put aside these differences: Democrats believe in government, Republicans don’t. Democrats believe everyone should have good health care, Republicans don’t. Democrats believe in public schools, Republicans don’t. Democrats are for people who are trying to make it, Republicans are for people who have it made.
Carter has blogged about the war inside the Republican Party between the Tea Partiers, who abhor compromise, and the “Pachyderms,” who sometimes compromise. Carter notes that the Tea Party is no fringe group. It’s a popular and powerful force within one of America’s two major political parties. Right now, it’s a force looking for a voice.
There’s a corresponding force within the Democratic Party. For two decades, Democrats have been dominated by Bill Clinton’s belief in a middle way between Republican and Democratic extremes. President Obama said in 2008 he would go to Washington and bridge the gulf between blue America and red America.
How’s that working out for you, Mr. President?
Some Democrats still believe in middle ground. Congressman David Price says the two parties came together to balance the budget in the late 1990s and can again. Erskine Bowles, who negotiated that balanced budget, is still trying to do it again.
But more and more Democrats believe there is no middle ground with the Tea Party. There is only total war. There will be a winner and a loser.
Like the Tea Party, that force is looking for a voice.


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2 comments on “The Great Divide

  1. Choo says:

    Gary this is so right on. It reminds me of King Soloman in the bible when he was going to cut the baby in half and give half to each women. Sometimes there is no middle ground. It has to go one way or the other. However your examples fall down. Democrats believe in government and Republicans dont. You could not be more incorrect. Republicans believe in government, but only for what powers the constitution prescribes, nothing more. Democrats believ in going over that line. You say Democrats believe in everyone having good healthcare and Republicans don’t. Again not true. Republicans believe everyone should have whatever healthcare they can afford, and would in every case give healthcare to anyone in a medical emergency. Now do other people have the right to my earnings, no. There is no place in the constitution that guarantees anyone the right to any healthcare. All powers not given to the federa government belong to the state and the people. Federal government is not good at doing things they are not empowered to by the constitution. It sounds good to say Republicans are against government, but then it sounds good to say all Democrats are communist.

  2. wafranklin says:

    Pearce: You do not extend the logic to mention that Kay Hagan is a co-chair of the Third Way, or did you just not know that? Of course that is relevant. Surely you know that Third Way is a latter day manifestation of the DLC, which I am sure you might remember. And just recently she helped throw Obama and ACA under the bus in a bleeding panic. The recent action in the shutdown, where the Dems did not break ranks should have been instructive, but was not. So Hagan is a major Blue Dog and will lean right when it is not reasonable. But, the blacks and progressives (if there are any left in NC–surely not you) are, to put it mildly, restive after many Hagan votes against the interests of ordinary people. Price is a nice guy but does not understand I suspect. Bowles, involved with Pete Peterson and the FixTheDebt crazies, has no relevant perspectives. I wrote him off following the Bowles-Simpson Catfood Commission. He is a DINO at very best. “Bidiness” has gone to his head – he knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.

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