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  1. #1 President Clinton warns of growing polarization 
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    I understand a lot of folks here aren't big fans of Bill Clinton; however, I think it's generally acknowledged that he is an excellent policy analyst. I found this interesting, not because of him, but because of the highlighted statistic.

    President Clinton warns of growing polarization

    Jul 12 06:38 PM US/Eastern
    By ANDREW WELSH-HUGGINS
    Associated Press Writer 113 Comments

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Former President Bill Clinton warned Saturday that the country is becoming increasingly polarized despite the historic nature of the Democratic primary.
    Speaking at the National Governors Association's semiannual meeting, Clinton noted that on the one hand, following the early stages of the Democratic primary, "the surviving candidates were an African-American man and a woman."

    Clinton's wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, battled for the Democratic nomination into June with fellow Democrat Barack Obama, son of a white mother and black father.

    But this achievement was overshadowed by a growing distance between Americans, said Clinton.

    "Underneath this apparent accommodation to our diversity, we are in fact hunkering down in communities of like-mindedness, and it affects our ability to manage difference," Clinton said.

    Clinton developed his 44-minute speech from themes he said he drew from a new book, "The Big Sort," by Bill Bishop.

    He cited statistics compiled by Bishop that found that in the 1976 presidential election, only 20 percent of the nation's counties voted for Jimmy Carter or President Ford by more than a 20 percent margin.

    By contrast, 48 percent of the nation's counties in 2004 voted for John Kerry or President Bush by more than 20 points, Clinton said.


    "We were sorting ourselves out by choosing to live with people that we agree with," Clinton said.

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  2. #2  
    Senior Member LibraryLady's Avatar
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    Gee, maybe he got this from the news show a few years ago on the "Big Divide" about how Americans were becoming so unwilling to compromise or work together.Of course ABC blamed it all on Karl Rove.

    I think it started with Bill Clinton and how despised he was.
    This is bigger than presidential politics. This is a battle for America.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LibraryLady View Post
    Gee, maybe he got this from the news show a few years ago on the "Big Divide" about how Americans were becoming so unwilling to compromise or work together.Of course ABC blamed it all on Karl Rove.

    I think it started with Bill Clinton and how despised he was.
    Clinton has the ability to synthesize various trends of thought in interesting ways. When he decided to intervene in Bosnia, he attributed that, in part, to his reading of Robert Kaplan's Balkan Ghosts, one of the best books on the Balkans in general. However, as Kaplan pointed out in his introduction to later editions, the books dwells very little on Bosnia-Herzegovina itself. Nevertheless, it does present the longevity and depth of ethnic hatred in the region very forcefully.

    BTW, I'm not sure if Clinton was any more despised by conservatives than Reagan was by liberals.
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    Senior Member dixierat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LibraryLady View Post
    Gee, maybe he got this from the news show a few years ago on the "Big Divide" about how Americans were becoming so unwilling to compromise or work together.Of course ABC blamed it all on Karl Rove.

    I think it started with Bill Clinton and how despised he was.
    I think it started before WJC got into office. The most polarizing event in the 20th century was Nixons resignation and the subsequent take over of Congress by the Dems. The dive into polarization accelerated under Carter and Reagan. By the time WJC got into office, it was already pretty strong. The attempted impeachment of WJC was a further push down the path of polarization. By the time of the 2000 election, things were pretty much out of hand and it continues today.

    When I was a kid, we were the United States of America, Land of the Free and Home of the Brave. Now, we're America, Land of the Sheep and Home of the NaÔve.

    Live each day as if you're going to die tomorrow. Learn each day as if you'll live forever.
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  5. #5  
    Sonnabend
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    The Clintons and the Dems are the ones who can claim authorship of this "polarisation", they fomented it, they divided the nation, they sought to undermine and sabotage the Presidency, the Left and the Dems founded and nurtured Moore, Kos, HuffPo, DU, Kerry,the partisan hacks of the MSM....they encouraged it, helped it, financed it.

    Anything and everything to destroy President Bush..she was going to be the next President and no one and nothing was going to stand in her way.

    For eight years they threw refuse on the Republicans, on the Presidency, and did more to damage their own country and to destroy a lot of the respect of the office of the Presidency..did all they could to destroy goodwill and made the idea of "bipartisanship" a sick joke.

    They sabotaged Iraq, denigrated the troops, undermined the Generals in their attempts to solve the problems, obfuscated, objected, connived and sniped at anyone who tried to do the right thing.

    Had they gotten behind the President and worked with him,helped him, tried to take some of the burden off him, tried to work together to make the success that is Iraq today, the situation could have been ameliorated a lot sooner and the surge would not have been needed.

    The Clintons did all they could to demonise the GOP, did all they could to make the Presidents life hell, and even when they saw that their creations had gone way too far and that what they had unleashed was vile, disgusting and sick with hate.....did nothing.

    All this was done to set the stage for her ascent to the White House...the Oval office that she "deserved" and "was rightfully hers"..when Obama's train came in, she was left on the platform, all dressed up and nowhere to vote.

    She expected to have the starring role as Belle of the Ball...she wound up cast as Delta Dawn instead..

    Why are they saying this now?

    Because Hillarys political hopes and aspirations are dead, she is deep in debt, and they are trying to salvage what they can of their tattered image and their wrecked future.

    Hillary is also soon to face charges over the Paul fiasco..so now its a question of damage control. They are trying to rehabilitate their image.

    If they want to know what the cause of this "polarisation"..they should buy a fucking mirror.

    Honi soit qui mal y pense.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonnabend View Post
    The Clintons and the Dems are the ones who can claim authorship of this "polarisation", they fomented it, they divided the nation, they sought to undermine and sabotage the Presidency, the Left and the Dems founded and nurtured Moore, Kos, HuffPo, DU, Kerry,the partisan hacks of the MSM....they encouraged it, helped it, financed it.

    Anything and everything to destroy President Bush..she was going to be the next President and no one and nothing was going to stand in her way.

    For eight years they threw refuse on the Republicans, on the Presidency, and did more to damage their own country and to destroy a lot of the respect of the office of the Presidency..did all they could to destroy goodwill and made the idea of "bipartisanship" a sick joke.

    They sabotaged Iraq, denigrated the troops, undermined the Generals in their attempts to solve the problems, obfuscated, objected, connived and sniped at anyone who tried to do the right thing.

    Had they gotten behind the President and worked with him,helped him, tried to take some of the burden off him, tried to work together to make the success that is Iraq today, the situation could have been ameliorated a lot sooner and the surge would not have been needed.

    The Clintons did all they could to demonise the GOP, did all they could to make the Presidents life hell, and even when they saw that their creations had gone way too far and that what they had unleashed was vile, disgusting and sick with hate.....did nothing.

    All this was done to set the stage for her ascent to the White House...the Oval office that she "deserved" and "was rightfully hers"..when Obama's train came in, she was left on the platform, all dressed up and nowhere to vote.

    She expected to have the starring role as Belle of the Ball...she wound up cast as Delta Dawn instead..

    Why are they saying this now?

    Because Hillarys political hopes and aspirations are dead, she is deep in debt, and they are trying to salvage what they can of their tattered image and their wrecked future.

    Hillary is also soon to face charges over the Paul fiasco..so now its a question of damage control. They are trying to rehabilitate their image.

    If they want to know what the cause of this "polarisation"..they should buy a fucking mirror.

    Honi soit qui mal y pense.
    You seem to demonstrate Clinton's (and the author's) thesis very well. I honestly think that the polarization began well before the Clintons. Liberals demonized Reagan for a multitude of actions, including "ignoring AIDS," welfare cuts, etc. Lee Atwater, GHWB's campaign adivsor, was a slash and burner, who took no prisoners and who cared little about longer term reprecusions of his actions. Both were active well before the Clintons came onto the scene.

    I tend to agree with dixierat that, at the presidential level, the first truly polarizing figure that I remember at least was Nixon. While adept at foreign policy, records, transcripts, and tapes have all shown that he was extremely paranoid, fostering the "us vs them" mentality throughout his administration.

    I'd be careful about blaming the setbacks in Iraq on the Dims. The Dims didn't appoint and stick with Rumsfeld, who felt that a smaller, more agile and mobile force was appropriate for an occupation. The Dims didn't appoint Paul Bremmer, who made some just horrendous blunders in his management of the occupation.
    Last edited by Cold Warrior; 07-14-2008 at 11:33 AM.
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  7. #7  
    This supports the extremely disturbing social trends revealed by Robert Putnam's recent work. The trends concerning diversity and social capital are so disturbing that Putnam, who wrote the highly regarded "Bowling Alone" has delayed publishing a full accounting of his research.

    Essentially, the premise is that an increase in multicultural inclusion and community diversity destroys social capital; not only between groups but within a group. Trust levels fall both for community institutions and among individuals. People volunteer less, they avoid relationships with their neighbors, and experience more anxiety and fear over safety issues. This is true even if those people consort only with their own cultural and racial peers. Trust is destroyed across the board.

    It stands to reason that people would want to avoid that shattering of community by drawing together in like-minded enclaves.

    Putnam's work shows that it is a long line of racial and multicultural public policies that have driven this phenomena - not partisan politics. Hell is paved with good intentions and this is an excellent example of that.
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  8. #8  
    Sonnabend
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    You seem to demonstrate Clinton's (and the author's) thesis very well. I honestly think that the polarization began well before the Clintons. Liberals demonized Reagan for a multitude of actions, including "ignoring AIDS," welfare cuts, etc. Lee Atwater, GHWB's campaign adivsor, was a slash and burner, who took no prisoners and who cared little about longer term reprecusions of his actionsl. Both were active well before the Clintons came onto the scene.
    The Clintons and the Dems were more than happy to help that along, as long as it suited their agenda.Anyone was usable...and disposable.

    Sheehan comes to mind. When she turned and said she wasn't supporting the agenda of the Left...they dumped her.She defied Clinton and is now a remnant of what she was...without the Left to support her she's just another looney,Kos wont fund her, her "base" has deserted her...she was a "useful idiot" that had a use by date.

    I'd be careful about blaming the setbacks in Iraq on the Dims. The Dims didn't appoint and stick with Rumsfeld, who felt that a smaller, more agile and mobile force was appropriate for an occupation.
    They chose to be part of the problem, not part of the solution,They made his job harder, not easier, they were wreckers and spoilers to set the stage for her to leap in and "save the day" by "fixing Bushs mistakes and bringing our boys home"...ignoring conveniently the bloodbath that would follow..all of which, of course, they could blame on the President.

    I have been sitting here as an outsider and watchng it, and if you dont think I dont see her hand, and her cohorts fingerprints, on a lot of this, you're crazy. Go back over a lot of it and read the releases and the demonstrations..and whio backed them and supported them.

    Hillary was, as we say, "setting the table" so she could sit down. Problem was...guess who came to dinner.

    The Dims didn't appoint Paul Bremmer, who made some just horrendous blunders in his management of the occupation.
    If you were to go back over the pre invasion days. and then move forward to today...follow the timelines and who got active. My guess is that a lot of this was not as much pre planned as opportunistic..Hillary had a massive sense of "entitlement" that was reflected in her campaign and was commented on by a lot of people.

    One report sticks in my memory...the reporter watched the campaign speech and summed it up nicely "Why aren't you all voting for me..I deserve to be President."

    They supported OIF..until it suited them. Then they decided to do what they could to poison the well. Hillary and Bill were central figures throughout.

    Hillary expected a dream run and a steamroller win...she got the Nightmare before Christmas.
    Last edited by Sonnabend; 07-14-2008 at 11:42 AM.
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  9. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gingersnap View Post
    ...
    It stands to reason that people would want to avoid that shattering of community by drawing together in like-minded enclaves....
    Why, that even happens on the internets :eek: with political and social sites becoming Hallelujah Choruses! ;)
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  10. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonnabend View Post
    The Clintons and the Dems were more than happy to help that along, as long as it suited their agenda.Anyone was usable...and disposable.

    Sheehan comes to mind. When she turned and said she wasn't supporting the agenda of the Left...they dumped her.She defied Clinton and is now a remnant of what she was...without the Left to support her she's just another looney,Kos wont fund her, her "base" has deserted her...she was a "useful idiot" that had a use by date.

    They chose to be part of the problem, not part of the solution,They made his job harder, not easier, they were wreckers and spoilers to set the stage for her to leap in and "save the day" by "fixing Bushs mistakes and bringing our boys home"...ignoring conveniently the bloodbath that would follow..all of which, of course, they could blame on the President.

    I have been sitting here as an outsider and watchng it, and if you dont think I dont see her hand, and her cohorts fingerprints, on a lot of this, you're crazy. Go back over a lot of it and read the releases and the demonstrations..and whio backed them and supported them.

    Hillary was, as we say, "setting the table" so she could sit down. Problem was...guess who came to dinner.

    If you were to go back over the pre invasion days. and then move forward to today...follow the timelines and who got active. My guess is that a lot of this was not as much pre planned as opportunistic..Hillary had a massive sense of "entitlement" that was reflected in her campaign and was commented on by a lot of people.

    One report sticks in my memory...the reporter watched the campaign speech and summed it up nicely "Why aren't you all voting for me..I deserve to be President."

    They supported OIF..until it suited them. Then they decided to do what they could to poison the well. Hillary and Bill were central figures throughout.

    Hillary expected a dream run and a steamroller win...she got the Nightmare before Christmas.
    All that you say may be true, i.e., that HRC is opportunistic, ruthless, and places her own ambitions above all else. These, however, characterize virtually every American politician on the national scene.

    However, it cannot be gotten around that, despite the Dim opposition to the war, every funding request that Bush has sent up has been approved. The Congress (under the control of the Dims for only 1.5 years, remember) has placed no constraints on the administration in their conduct of the war in Iraq. Therefore, responsibility for the debacle that lasted all of those years prior to the recent Surge belongs solely to this administration, not the opposing party. The very fact that the Surge works is an indictment of the administration's policies up until that point.
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