Division of Democrat and Republican Party members over time.

Division of Democrat and Republican Party members over time.

This plot data comes from the study The Rise of Partisanship and Super-Cooperators in the U.S. House of Representatives by Clio Andris, David Lee, Marcus J. Hamilton, Mauro Martino, Christian E. Gunning, and John Armistead Selden. It’s easy to look at a plot like this and see just how little “working together” our Congress does now, compared to the past. It’s also easy to see that, and realize why we’ve become so dysfunctional. When leadership can’t work together, it’s like divorced parents who hate each other fighting over who gets primary custody of their kid, and their kid just wants to go live with grandma now.

In yesterday’s post, I shared a video of Jimmy Carter talking about the oligarchy in America. He made one extremely poignant comment which applies directly here. Because this model is not sustainable, and it will be part of what breaks the back of stable American democracy. While he was referring to stopping the corrupting influence of money in Congress, this same sentiment applies to the problems caused by extreme partisanship. He said:

“It’s going to take either a horrible, disgraceful series of acts in our country that will turn the public against it and maybe even the Congress and the Supreme Court.” Former President Jimmy Carter in an interview with Thom Hartmann on July 28, 2015

National, Politics

Congressional Partisanship Over Time, Visualized

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Untitled-1

Our state senators went out, dug a grave, bought a casket, picked out a headstone, and now they’re cruising to the hospital with the top down to unplug us. Share to support your frustration with the unparalleled, unprecedented failure of the #ksleg113‬ day session.

Current Events, Kansas

SB270 Passes 21-19

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Brownback, Then and Now

Current Events, Kansas, Politics

Brownback, Then and Now

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db150607

Current Events, Kansas, Politics

Hey look, we made Doonesbury!

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Lawrence Sucks

This is just a fantastic example of someone with a lot of passion, and no charisma. When I talk to people with opposing views, one of the most important things I stress is that to be an effective communicator, you have to win the hearts and minds of the people who disagree with you. Insulting them, and going off half-cocked makes you look like the idiot, and just energizes the opposition with something to fight against. You win more bees with honey and all that. So, how many people’s minds do you think this guy (or gal) changed?

Current Events, Kansas

Lawrence Sucks (Apparently)

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My husband is blind and uses Uber. We sent an email to KS Representatives as there's a vote today that would make Uber operations illegal in the state. This was Rep. John Bradford's response. - ImgurI can’t confirm with absolute certainty that this was a true exchange, so keep that in mind when reading it. The law in question is SB117. For what it’s worth, Rep. Bradford is on Twitter.

EDIT: Here’s the discussion on the issue taking place at Reddit.

 

Kansas, Politics

Ladies and Gentlemen, Kansas Legislators

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Ten Commandments of Rational Debate

Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/atheism/comments/1f0lo6/the_ten_commandments_of_rational_debate

Culture

Ten Commandments of Rational Debate

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