The Washington Times
Nov. 18, 2012
Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett of Maryland remembers a time two decades ago when things moved quickly in Washington and Democrats and Republicans weren’t constantly at each other’s throats.
It wasn’t that great.
“It was a very different world back then. The Republicans had not had a majority for 40 years,” said the 86-year-old Republican, who was first elected in 1992 — two years before the GOP seized its first House majority since 1954. “It was be agreeable and get what you can, because Democrats always win.”
The GOP takeover brought benefits for Republicans and Mr. Bartlett, a fiscal conservative who sometimes strayed from his party on energy policy and other issues. But he said the shift also began a hyperpartisan age with increasingly vicious fights and fewer and fewer accomplishments...
The separation of the parties has been 50 years in the making, said John Fortier, director of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Democracy Project.
He said conservative Democrats began vanishing as voters clamored for two parties with separate, distinct ideologies that could be held accountable in good and bad times.
He said partisan redistricting, polarizing primaries and less time spent talking over issues in Washington, among other factors, have contributed to the toxic climate.
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