Partisan Politics

Are confrontational politics here to stay?


Scholars and lawmakers say politics has rarely been so nasty or cynical. The bitter partisanship that surrounded the impeachment trial of President Clinton illustrates the new brand of politics taking over in Washington. Careful debates on policy matters are increasingly being replaced by nasty confrontations in which politicians lob personal attacks at each other and depict their battles as a choice between truth and lies. The rise of the 24-hour media amplifies the din, often with unconfirmed rumors and salacious gossip about politicians' intimate personal lives. The public appears increasingly turned off, and is registering its displeasure by shunning traditional party labels. Voter turnout in last November's elections was the lowest in 56 years, and the number of registered Republicans and Democrats has been declining ...

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