Robert J. Samuelson: Rise in ideological politics has been bad for nation

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  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    Oct. 9, 2013 1:37 p.m.

    How come this whole thing seems to be aimed at the Republicans? Are we to really believe that it was not total ideology that caused the Democrats to pass the health care bill with no Republican support? Yet if the Democrats to something like that, it is considered statesmanship. Now if the Republicans were to get a total majority in government and pass legislation getting rid of Obamacare, it will be considered political extremism and right wing T-Party ideology. What is going on in the Republican/conservative precincts is that when Obama said he was going to make a "fundamental change" in America, we believed him. And we fundamentally do not want his change. So the political division is great in America, and just as it should be when, not one, but TWO extreme sides do political battle. This is what the 2008, 10, and 12 elections brought. Don't like it? Vote different in 14.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 9, 2013 1:12 p.m.

    If they already know each other's positions on things and aren't going to listen to anything now... why even negotiate? If you know their position already and won't listen to anything new... how are we going to resolve the issue?

    Sooner or later somebody's got to change. So how will Reid know when that happens if already knows their position and assumes it's as intransigent as he is?

    I didn't see the news that the Senate finally voted on the House bill. All I've heard is Obama and Reid's speeches that he won't even read anything the House sends them unless it's a letter of unconditional surrender.

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    Oct. 8, 2013 5:29 p.m.

    2 bits:

    Harry Reid brought up the House bill in the Senate - it was voted down.

    Why won't Boehner bring up for a vote the Senate bill in the House? Just bring it up for a vote, that's all.

    In reality, both sides know the arguments of the other side quite well. There's no lack of understanding. There probably is a lack of intelligence among various members of Congress, but Boehner, Reid and Obama all know each other's positions and associated problems very well.

    It looks like nobody will blink until the debt ceiling vote, at which point Boehner may lose his Speakership by bringing to a vote a compromise that offends the right wing.

    Boehner revealed a lot of what's happening about a couple of weeks ago, when talking to some reporters: "Do any of you have any ideas on how to move forward? They'll shoot those down, too", and it was clear he was referring to House Republicans.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 8, 2013 1:01 p.m.


    Re: "I really get the sense they're not interested in a true deal with anyone whose views differ".

    Same can be said about Democrats.

    Democrats have said they will veto anything Republicans them. Could that not be characterized as "they're not interested in a true deal with anyone whose views differ"?

    I don't know or care which side is to blame (because it takes both sides being mule-headed to get the situation we are in today). But your attempt to just blame ONE side is lame.

    At some point it doesn't even matter which side is right/wrong (because this isn't critical to our eternal salvation). It's just politics. Both sides need to be willing to at least LISTEN to the other side's proposals. Republicans have sent numerous proposals. Can Democrats at least read them? And maybe find ONE bone they can give on?

    This "all or nothing" intransigent demand from the left, is just as stubborn as the Right refusing to give them the blanket approval and wanting to find some place, any place, for compromise.

    I know Democrats don't have to compromise... but would it kill them?

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    Oct. 8, 2013 12:25 p.m.

    I wonder if there's any impulse among "conservatives" to reflect on the warnings from many of their party's seasoned leaders, such as the past two presidential candidates, who both warned that the tactics of Ted Cruz and Mike Lee were not a good idea. "You can't change things as much as you'd like if you only control one part of Congress".

    It seems like the uber-conservatives have just as much disregard for moderate Republicans as they do Democrats. I really get the sense they're not interested in a true deal with anyone whose views differ.

    For example, let's say Obama offers a 6 month delay in implementing parts of the ACA. Does anyone seriously believe conservatives would be content with this? They want the entire thing destroyed, including the pre-existing conditions and extended coverage for children, and the actual reasons for those provisions aren't important, anymore. Rationality isn't important. "Compromise is for losers" was a t-shirt seen, ironically, at a National Park in Utah, about 3 months ago.

    Our current predicament offers uncomfortable insight into how we ended up in the Civil War.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 8, 2013 10:06 a.m.

    I don't know if being idealogical is always BAD for the country. In 1776 many would have considered the founding fathers "idealogs". And that wasn't ALL bad.

    The difference is... the founding fathers listened to each other, and thought very hard about what others proposed, and didn't just say "We're not going to even consider anything you say or anything you send to us".

    Re: "moral absolutes, rigid agendas and strong emotions"

    I see no problem with these in our personal lives, or our religion, or personal lifestyle. But I don't think Government is the best place for these. It's a place of compromise and listening to OTHER's ideas and considering them and deciding on the best possible option.

    Moral dictators should not run the government. If they did we would have a theocracy (and we don't and shouldn't). That is what has bugged me a little lately about the Obama Administrations posturing on "Morality". We have to attack Seria because it's the "Moral" thing to do. It would be "Immoral" to not have government healthcare, etc, etc, etc, Seems whatever Democrats want to do is a "Moral imperative" now days.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Oct. 8, 2013 8:31 a.m.

    Good points. Nicely written.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 8, 2013 7:47 a.m.

    In Utah blame the Blaze and all of the local sponsors.