Sunday, July 10, 2011

American Politics: The problem is not division but partisanship

FRED NEWMAN
Fred Newman, Writer and Political Figure, Dies at 76 (By DOUGLAS MARTIN, NY Times) Fred Newman’s influential role in New York life and politics defied easy description.

OPEN PRIMARIES

  • Sund: Should politicians' first loyalty to be to nation or party? (By Roberta Sound, Times Record News - Wichita Falls, TX)
  • How to Turn Republicans and Democrats Into Americans - AN INSIDER’S SIX-STEP PLAN TO FIX CONGRESS (By Mickey Edwards, The Atlantic/Ideas) I am not calling for a magical political “center”: many of the most important steps forward in our history have not come from the center at all, including women’s suffrage and the civil-rights movement, and even our founding rebellion against the British crown. Nor am I pleading for consensus: consensus is not possible in a diverse nation of 300 million people (compromise is the essential ingredient in legislative decision-making). And I’m not pushing for harmony: democracy depends on vigorous debate among competing views. The problem is not division but partisanship—advantage-seeking by private clubs whose central goal is to win political power.

NONPARTISAN ELECTIONS


2012

  • Iowa Democrats trying to stay in the game (By Robin Abcarian, Los Angeles Times) Whoever the nominee is, she said, "they are going to have to come back here and make the argument to independent voters. Even if they've won the caucuses, what they've won is only a subset of Republicans. That's the danger of blowing off Iowa."
  • Iowa Democrats plan Obama re-election strategy (By Jennifer Jacobs, The Des Moines Register in USA Today) Between Nov. 1, 2008, and July 1 this year, Iowa gained 17,758 more active registered Republicans and lost 10,148 independent voters. Independents tend to move around, and with all the action this year in the Republican caucuses, politics watchers said, it's not surprising if they register with the GOP to weigh in on that contest.

NEW YORK
F.A.Q.: What could keep Andrew Cuomo from fixing redistricting? (BY JOSH BENSON, Capital New York) It's still early, but when we saw LATFOR, the legislative body that's charged with redistricting, start to move forward this week, I sure took it as a sign that the legislature doesn't have much interest in creating an independent, nonpartisan panel to (theoretically) draw independent, non-partisan lines. Which in the judgment of goo-goos, they don't. And, after a little back-and-forth with the governor, he agreed they can't make independent lines in their current form.

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