Another Extinct Species - Moderates in Politics.

By
Real Estate Agent with 1st Action Real Estate

 

Up in Sacramento, our state capitol, there's a great little restaurant about 2 blocks from the Capitol called Frank Fat's. It's been there since 1939 and over the decades it's earned the sobriquet 'The Third House' because it was a popular gathering place for legislators, lobbyists and governors - along with California's business and financial leaders. It's been said that more successful legislation has been concluded over a dish of Honey Walnut Prawns at Fat's than was ever conducted up the street. Tales of politicians from opposite sides of the aisle fighting like cats and dogs during the day resolving their differences over dim-sum are legendary. From Ronald Reagan to Willie Brown, Pat Brown to Jerry Brown - they all got the business done for our state.

 

But no longer. Oh, you still see politicians, lobbyists and business leaders enjoying a meal at Fat's.,But today you won't see Democrats and Republicans dining together. That's something that's changed over the past 20 years in Sacramento and perhaps even more-so in Washington DC. And it's why we see FAIL after FAIL in the political arena today. Everybody's talking past each other in sound bites - nobody talks to each other anymore.

 

Our political process has grown more polarized, more hyper-partisan and less accommodating than ever before. Cooperation and compromise are seen as signs of weakness, Hacks who could never get elected themselves, like George Soros and Grover Norquist, pull strings from our statehouse to the White House - to our detriment. 

 

But to some extent it has to be a reflection of the way we ourselves have headed for opposite ends of the spectrum as people, or at least as voters. We claim we want compromise but only select our electeds from the wings of each party. We refuse to accept any candidate who falls from ideological purity. Moderates and independents are gone. If you don't believe me, look no further than the following charts taken from the National Journal and CBS News showing the statistics for the U.S. Senate for the past 30 years.

moderates 1

In 1982 there were 60 Senators deemed 'Moderates' based on their voting records and self-professed ideology. This was the fertile middle ground where stuff got done, bills were passed and the needs of a moderate populace were served.

moderates 2

A dozen years later, that number had shrunk to 36. Still a good size group and capable of reaching a compromise so that good bills were able to be passed.

moderates 3

A scant decade later that number had shriveled to 9 - the art of compromise had been lost, the era of polarized partisan politics was upon us.

moderates 4

Today it should come as no surprise there are none. And nothing gets done - they can't even pass a budget for our nation. Yet statistically we will re-elect some 86% of these same party die-hards to office next November. Why? Because in spite of the problems we know we have, it's YOUR Congressman's fault, mine is good. 

 

BULLSHIT! They're all hacks. And if you insist on re-electing the same right-wing nutcase or bleeding heart liberal, you only have yourself to blame. Most people I meet are neither far right nor far left and most understand the need for compromise in their own daily lives.  Why can't that same rationality be reflected in the people we elect to represent us? 

 

Of course that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.

close

This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Topic:
ActiveRain Community
Groups:
Dissent
Politics And Real Estate
Silent Majority
Tea Party
The Lounge at Active Rain
Tags:
moderates
politics
gene wunderlich
liberals
frank fats

Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the world to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Show All Comments
Rainmaker
262,888
Jeanne Dufort
Coldwell Banker Lake Country - Madison, GA
Madison and Lake Oconee GA

wow - those are some charts! I knew party line voting was de rigeur, but that chart is simply amazing.

Dec 07, 2011 05:00 PM #1
Rainer
201,156
April Swenson
Coldwell Banker Ocean Shores Brokers - Ocean Shores, WA
CRS and Managing Broker - Ocean Shores Real Estate

Very interesting....I liked your story about the restaurant in Sacramento.  I also liked your graphs/photos to illustrate your point.

Dec 07, 2011 05:01 PM #2
Rainmaker
329,795
Vern Eaton
Askov, MN
Realtor 320-630-6995

Until we get these two parties to work together, nothing is going to change.

Dec 07, 2011 05:11 PM #3
Rainmaker
160,681
Satar Naghshineh
Satar - Amiri Property and Financial Services Corp. - Irvine, CA

I'll be happy if they stop legislating!

Dec 07, 2011 05:36 PM #4
Rainmaker
301,500
Randi Brammer
Randi Brammer, Acctg. - Hinckley, MN
Accountant & Tax Preparer

Interesting observation.  I bet that if we looked atother states we would find simalar stats.

Dec 07, 2011 07:10 PM #5
Rainmaker
225,023
Gene Wunderlich
1st Action Real Estate - Murrieta, CA
Realtor & Legislative Liaison

It's amazing when they actually do manage to act on something - although they often get it wrong. Our citizens are safest when our Congress isn't in session.

Dec 07, 2011 07:34 PM #6
Rainmaker
385,993
Karl Hess
Keller Williams Ocean County - Toms River, NJ
on The Jersey Shore

I would like to see the definitions of "liberal" and "conservative," because in todays politics and and extremism, Nixon would be considered left-of-center.  I think there are far more hard-line conservatives than true liberals.  For example, Obama is not a liberal, he is a moderate, but you wouldn't think that with the press coverage he gets.

Dec 08, 2011 08:59 AM #7
Rainmaker
572,757
Than Maynard
Coldwell Banker Heart of Oklahoma - Purcell, OK
Broker - Licensed to List & Sell - 405-990-8862

I don't know. Too many back room deals have gotten us into the mess we are in. "I know this isn't the best idea, but I'll give you that and I get this" doesn't seem the best way to run a country. You certainly don't do that in a business.

Karl: Obama isn't moderate in anything. If the MSM is calling Obama a liberal then he must be way left of center. (which he is)

Dec 08, 2011 11:05 AM #8
Rainmaker
572,757
Than Maynard
Coldwell Banker Heart of Oklahoma - Purcell, OK
Broker - Licensed to List & Sell - 405-990-8862

You have any kin folk in Frisco, TX?

Wunderlich is an unusual/unique name. Anyway, I have cousins in Frisco with the same last name.

Dec 08, 2011 11:07 AM #9
Ambassador
507,282
Jason Sardi
Auto & Home & Life Insurance throughout North Carolina - Charlotte, NC
Your Agent for Life

Gene - Love this, my man.  I'm digging your opinion and the following paragraph you wrote is dead on in my opinion as well.

BULLSHIT! They're all hacks. And if you insist on re-electing the same right-wing nutcase or bleeding heart liberal, you only have yourself to blame. Most people I meet are neither far right nor far left and most understand the need for compromise in their own daily lives.  Why can't that same rationality be reflected in the people we elect to represent us? 

Dec 08, 2011 11:24 AM #10
Rainmaker
225,023
Gene Wunderlich
1st Action Real Estate - Murrieta, CA
Realtor & Legislative Liaison

Than - when confronted with another branch of the Wunderlich clan I always begin by asking if they're wealthy folks? If they are then I'm probably an heir, I mean a cousin or something. If they're broke as a joke, I've got enough of those already and dpon't need no more.

Karl - I agree. The National Journal provides what they use as criteria for their definitions and, while I don't necessarily agree with them right down the line, as long as they're consistent it makes the point. While I would not agree that Obama is a moderate, he has shown some willingness to compromise and I don't hold that against him. I fault Republicans who go into negotiations with one hand tied behind their back (a la Grover Norquist). And Democrats for the welfare state they help perpetuate thru ever larger entitlements that can never be touched.

I hear people bemoaning the fact that 'we need another Ronald Reagan to step forward'. If Ronald Reagan were running today I doubt he could get his own parties nomination, let alone be elected to the Presidency.

Dec 08, 2011 07:56 PM #11
Rainmaker
661,285
Pacita Dimacali
Alain Pinel - Oakland, CA
Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA

Gene

Really interesting charts and progression. I certainly hoped we have more independents and moderates but that doesn't seem to be happening. No wonder we have gridlock. It's obviously them versus us, and both sides will take no prisoners.

Dec 17, 2011 12:59 PM #12
Show All Comments
Rainmaker
225,023

Gene Wunderlich

Realtor & Legislative Liaison
Ask me a question
*
*
*
Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the cloud to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Additional Information