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Sat Nov 2, 2019, 09:39 AM

Sorry, pundits: The problem isn't "polarization" -- Republicans have lost their damn minds

Sorry, pundits: The problem isn't "polarization" Republicans have lost their damn minds
Mainstream media loves the "both sides" narrative. But the real problem is that the GOP has snapped the tether
https://www.salon.com/2019/11/01/sorry-pundits-the-problem-isnt-polarization-republicans-have-lost-their-damn-minds/

When the final vote tally on a formal resolution governing the impeachment inquiry concluded on Thursday with a party-line split all Republicans present voted against the resolution, and all but two Democrats voted for it one could practically hear the squeak of excitement from the mainstream media pundit class. Here was an opportunity to run with a "partisan polarization" narrative that neatly sidesteps the substantive disagreement between the two parties.

The situation is simple: The Republican Party, both its politicians and its voters, has collectively decided that it's fine for Donald Trump to use his office to run an illegal extortion scheme against a foreign leader in an effort to cheat in the 2020 election. The moral rot of the Republican Party, and its cultist loyalty to a criminal president is the sole reason for this situation. Democrats are rather too reluctantly! trying to do something to stop the bleeding.

But to read mainstream news coverage, one would think the real problem is that both sides are irascible and bitterly divided, and that there's some reasonable solution that involves everyone joining hands and finding some way to compromise.

"Analysis: On Impeachment Fight, Neither Side Seems Willing To Give an Inch," read the Friday morning front-page headline at the New York Times, which, as usual, was the most egregious offender when it comes to "both sides" pablum.

The article underneath, by Carl Hulse, focused exclusively on the failure to compromise, noting that "the two parties [are] pulling ever further apart as they dig in deeper on the righteousness of their respective causes" and that "[l]ittle evidence has emerged that either side is willing to give an inch."

How the parties are supposed to compromise on the issue of whether the president should be allowed to commit serious crimes is not even addressed. After all, to acknowledge that one side is for crimes and the other side is against them might expose how ridiculous this "compromise vs. polarization" framework really is.

The Associated Press covered the vote in a similar vein, writing that "Democrats swept a rules package for their impeachment probe of President Donald Trump through a divided House," and failing to note until the 22nd paragraph that Republicans have been calling for such a vote for weeks, as Media Matters pointed out.

Other outlets, including NBC News, CNN and the Washington Post, ran front-page stories on the way partisan polarization shaped the vote and is driving the polling on impeachment.

These stories are tough, because, in one sense, it's technically true that the vote and the polling shows that Americans are deeply divided, by party identity, on the issue of impeachment. But that framework misses the larger story: The reason for this deep division is that Republicans, both voters and their representatives, have completely abandoned any respect for democracy and rule of law, choosing instead the cult of personality around a flagrant criminal. It ignores that Democrats value the truth and Republicans are awash in lies. It equates the two sides in a way that is not justified by looking at the bigger picture.

The "both sides" frame, in other words, hides the fact that this situation is very a one-sided problem.

<<snip>>

21 replies, 2366 views

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Arrow 21 replies Author Time Post
Reply Sorry, pundits: The problem isn't "polarization" -- Republicans have lost their damn minds (Original post)
dajoki Nov 2019 OP
bronxiteforever Nov 2019 #1
CrispyQ Nov 2019 #2
jayschool2013 Nov 2019 #15
crickets Nov 2019 #3
yardwork Nov 2019 #4
Garrett78 Nov 2019 #8
spanone Nov 2019 #5
Wounded Bear Nov 2019 #6
pandr32 Nov 2019 #16
KentuckyWoman Nov 2019 #7
struggle4progress Nov 2019 #9
struggle4progress Nov 2019 #10
cry baby Nov 2019 #11
struggle4progress Nov 2019 #12
struggle4progress Nov 2019 #13
Garrett78 Nov 2019 #14
TryLogic Nov 2019 #17
Garrett78 Nov 2019 #20
catbyte Nov 2019 #18
JohnnyRingo Nov 2019 #19
SWBTATTReg Nov 2019 #21

Response to dajoki (Original post)

Sat Nov 2, 2019, 09:43 AM

1. Kick and recommend. N/t

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Response to dajoki (Original post)

Sat Nov 2, 2019, 10:36 AM

2. Kick.

"The media is only as liberal as the conservative corporations that own it." ~bumper sticker

The media will still be in business if we go fascist.

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Response to CrispyQ (Reply #2)

Sat Nov 2, 2019, 11:53 AM

15. Yes, but the good journalists will be purged

We exist now. We won't then.

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Response to dajoki (Original post)

Sat Nov 2, 2019, 11:12 AM

3. Excellent article - thanks for posting this. Kick for truth!

The "polarization" framework is profoundly misleading because it suggests that the two parties are like magnets repelling each other with identical force and velocity. But the real story is that while Democrats have moved modestly to the left on some issues, most of the divisions in the country are the result of Republicans becoming both more fascistic and completely untethered to reality. [snip]

This isn't an issue where reasonable people arguing in good faith can disagree. This is a black-and-white, wrong-versus-right issue.

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Response to dajoki (Original post)

Sat Nov 2, 2019, 11:26 AM

4. More examples of polarization:

1. Some people think that the sun orbits the earth, while others feel that it's the other way around. Neither side is willing to give an inch.

2. Reasonable people believe that the earth is flat, while others posit that the earth is a globe. Unfortunately, neither side seems willing to compromise.

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Response to yardwork (Reply #4)

Sat Nov 2, 2019, 11:36 AM

8. 2 more:

We need sensible gun control. Even toddlers should be given assault rifles.

Climate change needs to be addressed. Climate change is a hoax.

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Response to dajoki (Original post)

Sat Nov 2, 2019, 11:28 AM

5. K&R...

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Response to dajoki (Original post)

Sat Nov 2, 2019, 11:29 AM

6. Republicans and RW media declared war on us...

and we get bashed for fighting back.

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Response to Wounded Bear (Reply #6)

Sat Nov 2, 2019, 12:20 PM

16. That's how it is for sure.

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Response to dajoki (Original post)

Sat Nov 2, 2019, 11:32 AM

7. This

Republicans, both voters and their representatives, have completely abandoned any respect for democracy and rule of law, choosing instead the cult of personality around a flagrant criminal. It ignores that Democrats value the truth and Republicans are awash in lies. It equates the two sides in a way that is not justified by looking at the bigger picture.



K & R - good article. thank you.

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Response to dajoki (Original post)

Sat Nov 2, 2019, 11:37 AM

9. To pay legal fees for man who hit protester?

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Response to dajoki (Original post)

Sat Nov 2, 2019, 11:38 AM

10. Defends Charlottesville violence

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Response to dajoki (Original post)

Sat Nov 2, 2019, 11:38 AM

11. Rec

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Response to dajoki (Original post)

Sat Nov 2, 2019, 11:41 AM

12. Times Trump called for violence

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Response to dajoki (Original post)

Sat Nov 2, 2019, 11:44 AM

13. Lauds politician's body slam of journalist

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Response to dajoki (Original post)

Sat Nov 2, 2019, 11:45 AM

14. Sadly, even some Democrats are contributing to the compromise vs. polarization framework.

The reality is that the Democratic Party has only shifted gradually over the last 50+ years, while the Republican Party has gone completely off the rails--and they've taken the Overton Window with them, so what now passes for "radical" would be considered mainstream in a sane society.

If we reach across the aisle, our hand gets chopped off. You can't compromise with those who aren't acting in good faith, with those who lie and cheat constantly. You can't, for instance, compromise with people who are climate change deniers. Tell you what, we'll stop talking about how climate change is an existential threat but you have to promise to not advocate for arming toddlers with assault rifles.

Compromise in this age:

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Response to Garrett78 (Reply #14)

Sat Nov 2, 2019, 12:24 PM

17. "You can't compromise with those who aren't acting in good faith, with those who lie and cheat...

"You can't compromise with those who aren't acting in good faith, with those who lie and cheat constantly."

The both-sides media need to hear this over and over and over!!!

Some centrist Democrats need to absorb this.

Independents need to hear this.

One more time:

"You can't compromise with those who aren't acting in good faith, with those who lie and cheat constantly."

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Response to TryLogic (Reply #17)

Sat Nov 2, 2019, 12:50 PM

20. That's one of numerous messages that needs to be drilled into the public consciousness. More:

The Republican Party knows it can't win fairly and has no interest in election integrity. The Republican Party relies heavily on foreign interference, voter suppression and gerrymandering.

The Republican Party relies heavily on fomenting and exploiting racism, sexism and xenophobia.

The Republican Party relies heavily on projecting onto Democrats what they themselves are doing.

The Republican Party relies heavily on obfuscation and lies, which they pathetically refer to as "alternative facts."

Republicans support legislation that is so horrifyingly inhumane and destructive that writers of horror and satire can't compete.

These messages must be repeated over and over and over again. We must be blunt about that with which we're dealing.

Smash-mouth politics and taking the high road don't have to be mutually exclusive.

Be blunt about right wing ideology, about how the mission is to undermine faith in government and all democratic institutions. Be blunt about how promoting white nationalism and patriarchy is key to that mission.

Be blunt about the tactics that are employed when Republicans spout nonsense, which they do every time they go on the air. If you debate the *what*, you give it credence. Talk openly about the *why*. With enough repetition about tactics such as projection and the Gish gallop, eventually those tactics will be recognized by the public and the *what* will be dismissed as the nonsense that it is. Go on the air and say something like, "Kellyanne is doing what she does best, the Gish gallop. For those who don't know, the Gish gallop is when someone tries to overwhelm the opponent with baseless arguments. In other words, Kellyanne is just throwing as much crap at the wall as she can in hopes that some will stick. When she's ready to leave her alternate reality and debate honestly, we can chat. In the meantime, I'm not going to dignify her pathetic strategy."

Repeat, repeat, repeat. Drill these messages into the public consciousness.

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Response to dajoki (Original post)

Sat Nov 2, 2019, 12:26 PM

18. Yep.

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Response to dajoki (Original post)

Sat Nov 2, 2019, 12:31 PM

19. Right! How do we meet them halfway...

When they moved the goalpost to the next town?

It's like trying to compromise over a newly minted constitution tailor made for Donald Trump.

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Response to dajoki (Original post)

Sat Nov 2, 2019, 12:53 PM

21. The so called politicians (repugs) are behind the times and other Americans...especially when ...

you have an entire stadium of folks screaming for his impeachment and removal from office, while he was there during the World Series game. Kind of hard to ignore that many people shouting and yelling for one's impeachment, eh?

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