Monday, October 25, 2010

Robert Samuelson
One reason so many Americans are unhappy with politics today is that it has abdicated its central role. It doesn't narrow our differences; it exaggerates them.

There never has been -- as commentator Michael Barone warns -- a golden age when Americans basked in bipartisan harmony. Still, the present popular revulsion with politics seems particularly powerful. Consider some recent poll results: If given the chance, 48 percent of Americans would replace every member of Congress, including their own; only 11 percent have a "very positive" view of the Democratic Party, slightly better than the Republican Party (7 percent) and slightly worse than the Tea Party (12 percent); 77 percent of the public sees the parties "bickering more," a huge increase from 2009 (53 percent).

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