big lies, no compromise

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Chris Mooney writes that "we live at a time when Republican 'Big Lies'...are everywhere," looking at PolitiFact's analyses:

Republicans were overwhelmingly more likely to draw a "false" or even "pants on fire" rating (the worst of all). Out of the ninety-eight politicians' statements that received these dismal ratings, seventy-four were made by Republicans--or 76 percent.

Mooney weighs the suggestion that "PolitiFact is biased against the right" against "another possibility: the left just might be right more often (or the right, wrong more often)." Also interesting is the Washington Post "Fact-Checker" column, where Republicans got nearly three times as many "four Pinocchio" ratings as Democrats. Rather than "liberal bias" among fact-checking organization, Mooney suggests "A potentially simpler explanation for these results:"

...that the fact-checkers are simply doing their job--and Republicans today just happen to be more egregiously wrong. Democrats, meanwhile, are certainly not innocent when it comes to making misleading statements, but their pants are not on fire.

Mooney continues by observing that "psychology... suggests that one's politics are driven partly by one's personality, and Democrats and liberals are simply more open to new information and experiences as well as more tolerant of ambiguity and uncertainty:"

Moreover, this difference has been exacerbated by a well-documented turn toward psychological authoritarianism in the Republican Party over the past four decades. Increasingly, the GOP has become the party of those who are more rigid, less given to compromise, and more inclined to see the world in black and white.

When talking about political polarization, don't just blame Republicans. TNR's William Galston spreads around the blame for the "complex story" of political polarization. He makes two key observations--that the electorate has polarized while the parties have become ideologically homogeneous, and also notes that "conservatives and liberals have come to understand the practice of politics differently:"

Unlike most other Americans, conservatives seem to believe that compromise represents defeat [and] intransigence represents their only hope; never mind the risks.

Big lies - compromise = disaster

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on May 18, 2012 11:01 AM.

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