POLARIZATION NO LONGER A WINNING ISSUE?
Tom Brokaw is saying on the Hardball College Tourthat the most successful presidential candidate in '08 will be the one who is perceived as "a uniter, not a divider." He sees contemporary America as exhausted with the divisive politics of the past -- oh, since he didn't specify the period, I'm going to say dozen years, since the Gingrich Revolution of 1994, which puts the responsibility for that divisiveness squarely in the laps of the Republicans.
Hannity and his ilk are rejecting the "play it nice," bipartisan overtures that have been made by Democrats and some few (VERY few) Republicans since the mid-term elections. I agree with Brokaw this far -- these guys are making a big mistake. O'Reilly and Limbaugh are losing audience share. And Republicans of the current "do-nothing Congress" who are shrugging off their responsibilities and leaving, for instance, 9 of 11 key spending bills to the work of the next Congress, will pay at the ballot box for their fecklessness.
I talk to lots of Republicans (more than Democrats), and my sense is that they're simply tired of the divisive rhetoric, they're tired of the influence of the religious right, they're tired of watching their middle-class lifestyles disintegrate while their bosses take home $20 million bonuses. But most of all, they're too tired for anger, the kind of anger that the wingnuts have profited from in the past: against gays, pro-choicers, anti-war folks. Despite the agitation of the Rush Limbaughs, most Americans just don't feel a great personal threat from them after all, and they'd prefer to husband their anger for more important issues that they feel DO personally affect their lives.
Wow! Brokaw just admitted to being a huge fan of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report and said there are more facts and more truths in the first six minutes of either show than appear in most political press conferences.
And that's a truth and a fact right there.