In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan. 3, 2007 / 12 Teves, 5767

The new triangulation

By Dick Morris & Eileen Mc Gann

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Is there something cyclical, but nevertheless extraordinary, happening in American politics these days? Are we moving from a period of partisan confrontation and division, to one that values consensus and seeks more unity among our public figures?

Otherwise, how can we account for the unusual persistence with which moderates like Rudy Guiliani and Senator John McCain are holding their large leads in the Republican primary electorate? Or, the surprising surge of perceived-moderate Senator Barack Obama into second place in the Democratic field?

The conservative right is trailing ignominiously in the polls for the Republican nomination, while Hillary is tied with the combined vote share of Obama and Edwards in the Democratic field. Never mind that the Republican voters don't realize how liberal McCain and Guiliani really are, or how left-wing Obama's voting record — all two years of it — indicates he might be. The fact is, that moderates in both parties seem to doing very well.

In 2005 and early 2006, it seemed that the partisan divisions would continue and exacerbate. The right was energized by the debates over gay marriage and illegal immigration, and the left licked its chops after beating Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman in the Democratic primary. But Lieberman ended up winning, anti-immigration zealots like J.D. Hayworth lost, and moderate Democrats won most of the House seats that switched parties in 2006. The center showed new energy.

American politics, of course, alternates between periods of division and consensus. Because our democracy works, we explore new political issues and challenges through polarizing debate (such as would never happen in Japan, for example). After the debate has raged for a while, we come to a national consensus embracing the best of each side and move on (unlike Italy or France).

A brief review of the past thirty years tells the story of this oscillation, usually clear only in retrospect. Because of Vietnam, partisanship and division reigned supreme in the 70s and early 80s, and consensus figures like the late President Gerald Ford lost out while polarizing politicians like Nixon, McGovern and Reagan emerged to lead their parties. But by the mid 80s, we had returned to consensus, seeking a formula for smaller government with a safety net offered by Reagan as he ran for re-election in 1984.

The recession of 1991 shattered that consensus, and we opted for the left with Clinton in 1992, and the right with Gingrich in 1994. But after the debate had raged through government shutdowns, we ultimately settled back into consensus, as Clinton worked with the Republican Congress to balance the budget and pass welfare reform. That consensus was torn apart by the Lewinsky scandal and the post-2000 election recount battles. As, a result, partisan divisions ruled the political scene. The terror attacks of September 11 brought us together again, but the Iraqi invasion broke the consensus as the left and the right pursued their respective conspiracy theories.

Could it be that, after listening to the debate over homeland security and Iraq for the past five years, America has come to a consensus — a new incarnation of triangulation — and wants its politicians to get on with enacting it?

The elements of this possible "coming-together" are clearly etched in the polls: less partisanship, wiretapping to thwart terrorism but with civil liberties protections, aggressive questioning of terror suspects but no torture, continued international presence in Afghanistan but a gradual withdrawal from Iraq, a move away from oil dependency, serious action on global warming, a more liberal attitude toward illegal immigrants already here, but with tightened border security to stop new arrivals, and strong action to stop North Korea and Iran from becoming nuclear powers.

Barack Obama may not be the man to embody this new consensus, but Americans seem to think he is. Listening to his speeches but not to his voting record, his surge against Hillary Clinton clearly exploits the perception that the New York Senator is the epitome of partisanship while Obama transcends it.

Can Obama pull it off? With only a two year Senate record to defend, he is largely devoid of partisan baggage and may be ideally positioned to move to the center and become the triangulation candidate embracing the new consensus.

Can McCain pull it off? It might be that his brand of centrism — social conservate, populist, and strong on defense — may appeal to newly pragmatic Republicans licking their wounds from 2006.

It may be that as we enter the New Year, we are entering a new era of moderation after five years of raging debate. Let's hope so.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Dick Morris is author, most recently, of "Because He Could". (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.) Comment by clicking here.

Dick Morris Archives

© 2007, Dick Morris