Compromise in a Polarized Political World

Friday, October 04, 2013


Political scientist Brendan Nyhan says the roots of the shutdown aren’t so much in a failure of leadership from John Boehner or Harry Reid or President Obama. Rather, he tells Bob, all three men are at the mercy of an increasingly polarized political landscape that makes compromise extremely difficult.


Brendan Nyhan

Hosted by:

Bob Garfield

Comments [1]

John from Portland, OR

Ironically, given your segment on "false equivalency", this segment on polarization is full of false equivalencies, by failing to mention who is primarily responsible for polarization.

It is not that both sides have become more polarized. The polarization is ENTIRELY due to the republican descent into extremist, fact denying, obstructionist crazytown. There has been no corresponding move to the left on the democratic side.

As for gerrymandering: while it is true that democrats have gerrymandered several states in 2010 (Maryland and Illinois), republicans have gerrymandered far more widely, and to far greater effect. The only reason we have a republican majority in the house is because of Gerrymandering. Coupled with this, republicans are engaged in systematic, large scale attempts at voter suppression and disenfranchisement, which democrats do not.

So, to discuss polarization and gerrymandering without clearly stating that these are primarily driven by republicans is to engage in false equivalency from the start. Perhaps a good time to stop doing this is right here, right now.

Oct. 11 2013 11:21 PM

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