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In today’s Kansas City Star:

Posted on Tue, Aug. 21, 2012 11:13 PM

In politics, there is no black and white


The Kansas City Star

….Issues once considered relative, and subject to discussion and debate, are now considered absolute, such as abortion, and not subject to compromise. In this approach, Medicare isn’t insurance for the elderly, it’s socialism. Critics of President Barack Obama aren’t misguided, they’re racists. Taxes aren’t a way to raise money, they’re theft.

Finding compromise with socialists, racists, and thieves is pretty much as hard as compromising on abortion….

[emphasis in original]

The thing is, when it comes to abortion in Missouri, those militant absolutists are a small number, even smaller than the crazification factor (from Monday’s PPP poll):


Q6 Generally speaking, do you identify as prochoice or pro-life on the issue of abortion?

Pro-choice 40%

Pro-life 52%

Not sure 7%

Q7 Which of the following statements comes closest to your position on abortion: it should be legal in all cases; it should generally be  illegal with exception for rape, incest, or protection of the mother’s life; or should it be completely illegal?

Legal in all cases 33%

Illegal except for rape, incest, or the mother’s life 47%

Completely illegal 14%

Not sure 5%


[emphasis added]

So, in a statewide poll (with a sample that could be interpreted as skewing republican), 33% of the respondents believe abortion should be legal in all circumstances, 47% believe abortion should be legal in some circumstances, and 14% are militant absolutists (like Todd Akin) who believe that abortion should be illegal in all circumstances. 80% and 14%. And exactly who is driving political polarization?

The questions that Dave Helling should be asking is, how and why does 14% of the population, militant absolutists that they are, so drive the current (and long time past) political environment? An environment which Helling now laments in his opinion piece. “All sides do it” doesn’t cut it, especially when a small single issue minority is so far out of the main stream.

The answer is simple. The republican party, a political institution which endeavors to attain and hold on to political power at all costs, can rely on that single wedge issue portion of the electorate to keep them in power. And everybody else in the republican establishment club goes along until it bites them in the ass.  

* The headline is from a line in John Adams’ opera, Nixon in China (1987).