HOT BLAST: Two Americas via two elections
Sep 06, 2013 | 1479 views |  0 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print
President Barack Obama greets patrons at Bingham's Family Restaurant, where he stopped last month to buy pie in Lenox, Pa. Elizabeth Drew writes: "As a result of the relative lack of interest in state elections, we now have the most polarized political system in modern American history. It’s also the least functional." (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)
President Barack Obama greets patrons at Bingham's Family Restaurant, where he stopped last month to buy pie in Lenox, Pa. Elizabeth Drew writes: "As a result of the relative lack of interest in state elections, we now have the most polarized political system in modern American history. It’s also the least functional." (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)
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As is usually the case, Elizabeth Drew helps explain the current political situation. (You may not feel any better after reading her, but at least you'll better understand the gridlock and partisan nastiness.)

In 2010, the Republicans were sufficiently worked up about the new health care law and an old standby, “government spending,” particularly the stimulus bill, to drive them to the polls in far larger numbers than the Democrats. A slight upward tick in turnout numbers can have a disproportionate impact in Congress and many of the states, and therefore the country as a whole. The difference in turnout caused such a change in 2010; in fact, the Republicans gained sixty-three House seats and took control of both the governorships and the legislatures in twelve states; the Democrats ended up with control of the fewest state legislative bodies since 1946. The midterms go a long way toward explaining the dismaying spectacle in Washington today. State elections bear much of the responsibility for the near paralysis in Congress thus far this year and the extremism that has gripped the House Republicans and is oozing over into the Senate.

And here's the big takeaway:

 

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