Newsweek: “As fanciful beasts go, bipartisanship is more like a T. Rex than a unicorn – it actually roamed the earth once.”
Andrew Romano argues in this week’s Newsweek that while real bipartisanship used to exist, we won’t be seeing it in Washington anytime soon. He blames it on what he sees as a rightward shift in the Republican party.
Fact is, the sort of Republicans who voted for Medicare in 1965 no longer exist. Since the early 1970s, Democrats have drifted only slightly leftward. But thanks to realignment and redistricting – the practice of slicing the electoral map into ever more politically homogenous districts – a 2003 Republican House member with a voting record at the median of his party was about 73 percent more conservative than his Nixon-era counterpart. Which means he was about 73 percent less likely to reach across the aisle – no matter who was reaching out from the other side. And the odds are only getting longer. In 2006 the GOP lost most of its remaining moderates: Lincoln Chafee, Rob Simmons, Charlie Bass, Jim Leach. Three years later, Pennsylvania’s Arlen Specter defected to the Dems.
(Photo credit. And, hmmm, I wonder where he got 73%?)