View Full Version : Study: Repubs More Extreme Right Than In 100 Yrs!

Gayle in MD
04-13-2012, 07:17 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">When President Obama recently complained to news media executives about their ostensibly even-handed "pox on both of your houses" coverage of the partisan battles in Washington, it might have seemed like, well, a partisan shot from a Democratic president.

After all, his complaint was that the GOP had moved so far right, and intransigently so, that it was wrong to create a false "equivalence" by blaming both parties equally for the Washington gridlock. To a skeptic that comment, coming from a Democrat, sounded suspiciously partisan itself.

But while the president was making the kind of argument you would expect of the nation's top Democrat, he actually had the support of science well at least political science research that maps that rightward GOP shift.

Keith Poole of the University of Georgia, with his collaborator Howard Rosenthal of New York University, has spent decades charting the ideological shifts and polarization of the political parties in Congress from the 18th century until now to get the view of how the political landscape has changed from 30,000 feet up. What they have found is that the Republican Party is the most conservative it has been a century.


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In a recent conversation Poole, who's viewed by other political scientists as the go-to expert on this issue, explained that the data are very clear:

"This is an entirely objective statistical procedure. The graphs just reflect what comes out of the computer. Howard Rosenthal and I, we've been working on something called Nominate. This does all the Congresses simultaneously, which allows you to study change over time.

"The short version would be since the late 1970s starting with the 1976 election in the House the Republican caucus has steadily moved to the right ever since. It's been a little more uneven in the Senate. The Senate caucuses have also moved to the right. Republicans are now furtherest to the right that they've been in 100 years


See Chart at link...

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Buttressing a point that Obama has sometimes made, this loss of moderates and further rightward movement by congressional Republicans would have been a challenge to navigate for even the biggest conservative hero of modern times, President Ronald Reagan. Poole said:

"Ronald Reagan was so successful because he made all these deals with these huge blocks of moderate legislators. That's why he had overwhelming majorities for the 81 tax cut, the 82 tax increase, where they had to go back and adjust the tax bill in 82 and the Social Security fix in 83. Then in 86 you had Simpson Mazzoli, which included amnesty and tax simplification. All that stuff passed with very large majorities. You cannot imagine anything like that happening now. Which is why the country is really in the tank.

"There's a lot of blame to go around. It doesn't look like there's any resolution of this anytime soon."

That said, Poole says the data are hard to deny; the polarization is largely due to how far and relatively quickly Republicans have shifted to the right end of the ideological spectrum.


http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/...?sc=tw&cc=share (http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2012/04/10/150349438/gops-rightward-shift-higher-polarization-fills-political-scientist-with-dread?sc=tw&cc=share)

04-15-2012, 09:07 AM
Since the general population is 2 to 1 conservative, why shouldn't that be reflected in Congress? You seem to infer that going further right is a bad thing yet it is common sense and common knowledge that the leftist solutions we have been living under for decades have been a total failure. The challenge we now face is how best to undo those 'solutions' and relieve the pain they are causing everyone and as typified by the Ryan Plan, undoing government dependence is not an easy task.

04-15-2012, 11:22 AM
The country is not 2-1 conservative. What you refer to is that the self-described conservatives outnumber the self-described liberals by that 2-1 factor. But self-described moderates outnumber the self-described conservatives, iirc.

Since the majority of the country is center-left (moderates, who reject the conservative label, and liberals, likewise), why shouldn't THAT be reflected in Congress?

The fact is that the red states enjoy a large over-representation, with California alone having as many citizens as 18 of the small or large but tiny population states, but they are restricted to only 2 US senators, whereas the collective population of these other states equaling the number in California have 36 US senators.

Then, a mere 40% of the Senate can institute full minority control or at least veto control over legislation, so we are subject to the obstructionism of a very small number of the populations' Congressional delegations.

04-15-2012, 02:03 PM
If you assume that the moderates occupy the center line, that still leaves twice as many on the right, or above, as in the chart, as it dose the remaining leftists dragging everyone down.

That means that the country is center-right while Congress has been over-represented by the Left for most of the last century. In fact, according to Alan West, there 70 plus commies in there.