POLITICAL TRIBALISM… If you’ve ever wondered what percentage of voters think for themselves when it comes to public policy matters, and what percentage just robotically follow whatever their party’s leaders happen to say, then check out this little tidbit from the new Pew poll:

[I]n the wake of the news that President Bush has authorized the National Security Agency (NSA) to monitor Americans suspected of having terrorist ties the issue has become more divisive. Today, Republicans are twice as likely as Democrats (37% vs. 18%) to say they favor allowing the government to monitor their telephone and email communications. This marks a 15-point increase in support among Republicans, and a nine-point drop among Democrats since 2002.

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Paul Glastris is the editor in chief of the Washington Monthly. A former speechwriter for President Bill Clinton, he is writing a book on America’s involvement in the Greek War of Independence.