Sunday, March 4, 2012

Illustrated Polarization

Very amusing stuff here in the aftermath of Olympia Snowe's announcement.  Both parties have been losing their moderates as more effective gerrymandering has meant that the relevant competition is the primary election, with members of one party outbidding each other on how extreme they can be.  What we see in this presidential primary season has been going on for a while for primaries for lower offices around the country.

This is not really news.  But this cartoon perhaps inadvertently illustrates this by considering Dick Lugar a moderate.  He used to be considered quite conservative but with some more centrist views on National Security.  Now, he is a moderate since his party has moved ever further to the right (although his various scores by various lobbying groups show him to be not so moderate today).  When Bob Dole and Dick Lugar are seen as the more moderate folks in the room, you know you are in a pretty wacky room.

And, yes, the Democrats have a similar trend (see how the left treats Bob Kerrey), but since that party has always been less organized, less effective, less coherent, we still see greater diversity of views, which is a good thing except when a close vote is scheduled.  

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