If you think there is any hope of bipartisan compromise in today’s political environment, we’ve got a few words for you.
“Bad,” “greedy” and “crazy.” Those would be three of the top four words Democrats use to describe Republicans.
And “socialist,” “idiots,” “liars” and our favorite — “suck.” Those are a choice few of the top words used by Republicans to describe Democrats.
A new Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation poll asked survey respondents to describe the opposite political party in one word. And the words they chose say a lot about the polarized nature of the American body politic.
In short: Members of each party basically have nothing good to say about each other.
And here are the words Republicans used to describe Democrats:
You’ll notice that the big words — the words cited most frequently by poll respondents — are almost universally negative. And in the few cases where they’re not negative, they’re neutral.
In fact, 17 of the top 18 words Republicans use to describe Democrats are clearly negative, and the one that’s not — “liberal” — was probably meant pejoratively by many GOPers.
On the Democratic side, there’s a little more bipartisan respect — and we emphasize little. The sixth most-cited word is “good,” but 12 of the top 14 words are negative. (The other non-negative term to crack the top 14 is the neutral “conservative.”)
In reality, it’s not terribly surprising. Americans are more and more entrenched in their respective political parties than they have been in a long time.
Poll results released over the weekend showed that the number of Republicans who describe themselves as “strong partisans” has risen from 41 percent to 65 percent over the last 14 years, while the number of Democrats who say the same of themselves has increased from 45 percent to 62 percent.
In other words, close to two-thirds of people in each party now consider themselves “strong partisans.”
And given how they describe each other, perhaps it’s not surprising that the people they elect can’t seem to get along with the other side either.
Akin no-shows on Piers Morgan: Rep. Todd Akin, who is still beating back calls for him to drop out of the Missouri Senate race, apparently no-showed for an appearance on CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight” on Monday.
Morgan, after tweeting that Akin would be his guest, began that program by showing an empty chair and labeling Akin a “gutless little twerp.”
He said Akin adviser Rex Elsass agreed to the interview and then pulled out at the last minute.
Morgan also said the Akin’s opponent, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), canceled an appearance.
Akin, who has drawn heat for for saying “legitimate rape” rarely causes pregnancy, has until the end of the day Tuesday to voluntarily drop out of the race. After that, it would require a court order — which apparently is unlikely to be a problem — to replace him on the ballot.
Meanwhile, GOP vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has reportedly joined calls for Akin to step aside, and Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus is asking Akin not to come to the GOP convention in Tampa next week. About the only people defending Akin are social conservatives including the Family Research Council and activist Phyllis Schlafly.
Obama website suggests Romney responsible for woman’s death: President Obama said at a news conference Monday that a controversial super PAC ad doesn’t say Mitt Romney is responsible for a woman’s death, but his website makes a similar suggestion.
The verbiage in the ad draws a pretty clear line — even if it doesn’t directly state it — between Bain Capital laying off GST Steel worker Joe Soptic and his wife’s uninsured death from cancer years later.
Obama’s website, meanwhile, links the two as well, as BuzzFeed first reported.
“I worked hard all my life and played by the rules, and they allowed this to happen,” the website quotes Soptic saying. It then describes Soptic as a man “whose wife died of lung cancer after he lost his GST health plan.”
Really, the website is playing the same game the ad is — linking the two facts without making a statement about causality. But the implication is clear.
And this will probably prolong an issue that was already a headache for Team Obama, which has steadfastly declined to criticize the ad.
Election Day in Georgia, Wyoming: Voters head to the polls to decide the winners of three Peach State congressional primary runoffs, including one in Georgia’s 12th District, where Rep. John Barrow, the last white Democrat in the House from the Deep South, faces a tough reelection campaign in a very conservative district in the fall.
State Rep. Lee Anderson, who received the most votes in the late July primary, will try to hold off businessman Rick Allen, who has poured over $500,000 of his own money into the campaign. Regardless of the outcome, Barrow, a Blue Dog Democrat, will have to win on Republican-friendly turf in November.
Elsewhere, Georgia’s 2nd district GOP runoff will decide who Rep. Sanford Bishop (D) faces in a majority-black district he is expected to hold, while a runoff in the newly created 9th district will decide the Republican nominee for a seat the party is expected to win.
A new USA Today/Gallup poll shows Romney leads by three points nationally, but Obama leads by two points in swing states.
The top super PAC devoted to supporting Romney, Restore Our Future, raised $7.5 million and spent $8.2 million in July.
The Romney campaign keeps attacking Obama for gutting welfare in a new web ad, even as fact-checkers have debunked the claim.
The GOP’s convention platform has softened its stance on trade with Cuba and allowing gays to serve openly in the military.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) and state Attorney General Greg Abbott (R) are both raising cash fast for what appear to be potential 2014 gubernatorial campaigns.
Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) defends Sheldon Adelson and says the investigation into him is politically motivated.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the FBI wasn’t probing a group of GOP freshmen’s swim in the Sea of Galilee (which included one getting naked), in contrast to a Politico report Sunday. Rather, WSJ reported, the bureau stumbled upon it while investigating a previously known case involving freshman Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.), who was involved.
A Democratic super PAC is spending $500,000 on ads for Senate candidate Rep. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.).
Competing internal polls show Rep. Bobby Schilling (R-Ill.) leading challenger Cheri Bustos (D) by between nine and 13 points in a tough district for the GOP.
“Romney’s campaign coffers have $60 million more than Obama’s” — T.W. Farnam, Washington Post
“Obama denies he is running a negative campaign” — David Nakamura and Philip Rucker, Washington Post
“In Congress’s Paralysis, a Mightier Supreme Court” — Adam Liptak, New York Times