I don't believe in a golden mean; I don't believe you find policy wisdom between two polar points. I don't dismiss that possibility, but I look at the platform that's so ideologically based, that's so dismissive of facts, of evidence, of science, and it's frankly hard to take seriously.
While Republican voters have remained universally supportive of their President, Democrats and Independents are returning to a more naturally critical stance.
Second, the President's popularity has not translated into increased support for the Republican party or for the policies and approaches on domestic policy championed by the President.
But presidential approval also became a surrogate measure of national unity and patriotism.
Private sector labors unions continue to suffer losses in their membership while public sector and service unions grow.
Incumbency adds a layer of advantage on top of this party dominance. But rather than foster an environment in which members of Congress feel free to buck popular sentiment and wrestle seriously with the problems confronting the country, it reinforces the ideological divide between the parties.
The country has sorted itself ideologically into the two political parties, and those partisan attachments have hardened in recent years. It will take an extraordinary event and act of leadership to break this partisan divide. I thought 9/11 might provide such an opportunity, but it was not seized.
In addition to the decline in competition, American politics today is characterized by a growing ideological polarization between the two major political parties.
In the House, Republican prospects have been buoyed by several successful rounds of redistricting, which have sharply reduced the number of competitive seats and given the Republicans a national advantage of at least a dozen seats.
America is an outlier in the world of democracies when it comes to the structure and conduct of elections.
Democrats do best in urban centers, Republicans in outer suburbs and rural areas.
Further-more, partisan attachments powerfully shape political perceptions, beliefs and values, and incumbents enjoy advantages well beyond the way in which their districts are configured.
Partisanship particularly increased after the 1994 elections and then the appearance of the first unified Republican government since the 1950s.
Party and ideology routinely trump institutional interests and responsibilities. Regular order - the set of rules, norms and traditions designed to ensure a fair and transparent process - was the first casualty. The results: No serious deliberation. No meaningful oversight of the executive. A culture of corruption.
Incumbents are safe, but party majorities are not. This fosters symbolic votes, message politics and little serious legislating in Congress.
The increase in straight-ticket party voting in recent years means that competitive congressional races can tip one way or the other depending on the showing of the candidates at the top of the ticket.
With the parties at virtual parity and the ideological gulf between them never greater, the stakes of majority control of Congress are extremely high.
The public's evaluation of the job George W. Bush is doing as president changed dramatically as a result of the horrific attacks of September 11 and his response in leading the country on a campaign against terrorism.
All of this suggests that while citizens became more comfortable with President Bush after September 11 and thought him to have the requisite leadership skills, they continue to harbor doubts about his priorities, loyalties, interests, and policies.
Presidents are elected not by direct popular vote but by 538 members of the Electoral College.
A healthy degree of party unity among Democrats and Republicans has deteriorated into bitter partisan warfare.
Mandates are not objective realities but subjective interpretations of elections sold successfully by the winning candidate or party.
Redistricting is a deeply political process, with incumbents actively seeking to minimize the risk to themselves (via bipartisan gerrymanders) or to gain additional seats for their party (via partisan gerrymanders).
Responsibility for overseeing the implementation of election law typically resides with partisan officials, many with public stakes in the election outcome.
First, his job approval ratings have been trending down for many months, a trend that has accelerated in recent weeks as the war on terrorism has been supplanted in the public's mind by corporate scandals, stock market declines, and a growing sense of economic insecurity.
Votes in federal elections are cast and counted in a highly decentralized and variable fashion, with no uniform ballots and few national standards.
It was, however, striking—in the best sense of the word—that precisely those rules that corresponded exactly to their overseers' economic interests enjoyed unconditional veneration, whereas rules for which said correspondence was less applicable were more likely to be winked at.
The days began to fly now, and yet each one of them was stretched by renewed expectations and swollen with silent, private experiences. Yes, time is a puzzling thing, there is something about it that is hard to explain.
LCSH terms that are orphans in terms of their individual coverage are seldom orphans in terms of their relationships.
Time has no divisions to mark its passage, there is never a thunder-storm or blare of trumpets to announce the beginning of a new month or year. Even when a new century begins it is only we mortals who ring bells and fire off pistols.
The fact is that everyone is much too busily preoccupied with himself to be able to form a serious opinion about another person. The indolent world is all too ready to treat any man with whatever degree of respect corresponds to his own self-confidence.
You will lead, you will strike up the march of the future, boys will swear by your name, and thanks to your madness they will no longer need to be mad.
This old, folkish layer survives in us all, and to speak as I really think, I do not consider religion the most adequate means of keeping it under lock and key. For that, literature alone avails, humanistic science, the ideal of the free and beautiful human being.
But even those five-and-forty minutes were too long, the bored me --and boredom is the coldest thing in the world.
It is impossible for ideas to compete in the marketplace if no forum for their presentation is provided or available.
He thought what a fine thing it was that people made music all over the world, even in the strangest settings – probably even on polar expeditions.
An art whose medium is language will always show a high degree of critical creativeness, for speech is itself a critique of life: it names, it characterizes, it passes judgment, in that it creates.
The average man thinks that a little falseness goes with beauty.
Whoever loves the more is at a disadvantage and must suffer.
Shall we go away whenever life looks like turning in the slightest uncanny, or not quite normal, or even rather painful and mortifying? No, surely not. Rather stay and look matters in the face, brave them out; perhaps precisely in so doing lies a lesson for us to learn.
What our age needs, what it demands, what it will create for itself, is—terror.
To be young means to be original, to have remained nearer to the sources of life: it means to be able to stand up and shake off the fetters of an outlived civilization, to dare -- where others lack the courage-- to plunge again into the elemental.
Space, like time, engenders forgetfulness; but it does so by setting us bodily free from our surroundings and giving us back our primitive, unattached state ... Time, we say, is Lethe; but change of air is a similar draught, and, if it works less thoroughly, does so more quickly.
The books and magazines streamed in. He could buy them all, they piled up around him and even while he read, the number of those still to be read disturbed him. … they stood in rows, weighing down his life like a possession which he did not succeed in subordinating to his personality.