Independence Day

INDEPENDENCE DAY….David Broder has been getting beat up pretty well in the blogosphere for his continuing paeans to “independent” Republicans (try here, here, and here, for example), and I don’t have much to add. I think John Holbo captures the thing that mystifies me the most about Broder when he confesses:

I used to be a practitioner of the Higher Broderism myself, in some ways….

Exactly. Me too. If Broder had written today’s columns fifteen years ago, I would have nodded along approvingly.

But then the Republican Party turned over its leadership to guys like Newt Gingrich, Dick Armey, Tom DeLay, George Bush, and Karl Rove. During that same period, the Democratic leadership was made up of people like Bill Clinton, Al Gore, George Mitchell, Tom Daschle, and Dick Gephardt. If American politics has become more extreme and more polarized over the past decade, which group of men do you think was largely responsible?

The question answers itself, and Broder was around the entire time to watch this saga unfold. So how is that after all this time he can still pretend that both parties have drifted equally away from centrism, and that it’s Republican pseudo-moderates who might save us? It boggles the mind.

For more on this subject, try reading “Perverse Polarity,” a piece written a couple of years ago by Paul Glastris. It spells out the whole sorry spectacle pretty well.