Our role in America's political divide

  • Article by: D.J. TICE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 13, 2011 - 9:13 PM
  • 105
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alansonAug. 13, 11 8:34 PM

While decrying "dysfunction" in Minnesota, the Star Tribune is an advocate of restoring divided dysfunctional government in Wisconsin. One suspects it's not the dysfunction that displeasess the STrib, but the failure see its liberal agenda imposed in either Minnesota or Wisconsin.

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patrickjdAug. 13, 11 9:21 PM

"the man on the street" interviews by Leno, Hannity and others are good indicators of our deteriorating electorate. It's always a good bet that those who can't name the Vice President or the name of their governor will be voting for Dems. The divide in this country can be summed up between the informed citizens like Tea Partiers and the people who Michael Savage calls "sheeple" (misguided followers of Obamanomics.)

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goferfanzAug. 13, 11 9:35 PM

Nice column, and it captures recent America well. Like it or not, of the 12 Congressional chambers (with 9 trillion in new debt) since Clinton left office--->6 have been Dem and 6 have been GOP, including a split Congress in 2001-2 as recession, 911, corporate accting fraud scandal, and Iraq war vote unfolded, in that order. I do think the govt spending excess has been both parties flailing to retain power in some mighty trying war and economic times. Similarly, at the state level, both Dayton and Pawlenty won by splitting the vote of the opposite party. It is an evenly divided country........for better or worse.

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LakeliverAug. 13, 11 9:39 PM

patrickjd. You're not even worth debating. Your grasp of reality is simply laughable and certainly not worth the few minutes to even read it. LOL

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one4thepeepsAug. 13, 1110:04 PM

I wish there were still Republicans like Arne Carlson who believe in the spirit of compromise and moderation to move our government forward. Instead we have Scott Walker, who has openly bragged about his "scorched earth" agenda (his actual words). We have Kurt Zellers during the shutdown responding to a compromise on raising taxes on cigarette by saying "We are not going to balance this budget on the back of Joe Six Pack." (His actual words) We have eight Republican candidates during a debate in Iowa all raising their hands to say that a debt deal which included a ratio of ten cuts to every one tax increase was "unacceptable." The Republican party of today is dominated by a lock-step spirit of extremism. We have seen their true colors in Minnesota and across the nation. Believing that government is the enemy, they set out to make it as dysfunctional as possible, and the result is that we the people suffer. There is no moderation in the current Republican party. Even so-called moderates like Olympia Snow are bullied into marching with the party's orders. What a relief it was recently to see John McCain rediscovering some of his "maverick" roots and dismissing the Tea Party as a bunch of "hobbits." Until more people stand up to the Tea Party bullies, we won't be able to move forward as a country. Our chance is coming in 2012.

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chavistaAug. 13, 1110:09 PM

I quit reading this opinion when I hit the statement, "In his first two years, Obama had 256 allies in the House and (only for a short time) 60 in the Senate." The democrats have never held a 60 member filibusterer proof edge in the Senate during Obama's presidency. The only time that the democrats came close is when they had 58 members in the Senate and that was during the 49 days between July 7, 2009 when Al Franken was sworn in and August 25, 2009 when Ted Kennedy died. I'm sure Ted would have loved to get off his deathbed to be present to vote. You forget that Joe Lieberman was an independent that sometimes voted with the democrats, but could not be counted on. Also, during that time there were 7 democrats and 7 republicans that formed a voting bloc called the gang of fourteen. At no time has Obama had democratic control of the Senate and House and because of Republican obstructionism in the Senate Obama could not pass anything. If D.J. Tice can't get this little fact correct then the rest of the opinion is worthless too!

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johnsq316Aug. 13, 1110:33 PM

What is left unstated here is how President Obama squandered his historic levels of support in both chambers - neither party had a filibuster proof majority in the Senate since Johnson's term. A 40 vote majority in the House is a fairly easy margin to govern with, especially with a strong Speaker like Pelosi. Those margins lasted one election cycle.

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boss09Aug. 13, 1110:54 PM

The problem is simple. A large percentage of people simply vote democrat or republican no matter what. They don't realize that the two parties are one in the same. These are the same people that complain when nothing changes in D.C. We need more Paul's and Bachmann's if we want real change.

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SqUaReD80Aug. 13, 1111:23 PM

It's the same people that elected George W. Bush. TWICE! I gave up on Americans after that debacle. Who in their right mind would do that. Pathetic.

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Guppy35Aug. 13, 1111:55 PM

You have to keep in mind that we've gotten to the point where we'd rather be miserable and have someone else to blame, then to actually figure out we're in this together and that we'd better start finding some common ground. That might take work and compromise though. Better to be miserable

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