The great political divide | The Observer | Roz Rogoff | |

Local Blogs

The Observer

By Roz Rogoff

About this blog: In January 2002 I started writing my own online "newspaper" titled "The San Ramon Observer." I reported on City Council meetings and other happenings in San Ramon. I tried to be objective in my coverage of meetings and events, and...  (More)

View all posts from Roz Rogoff

The great political divide

Uploaded: Jul 30, 2014

Based on the two candidates who ran against Rep. Eric Swalwell in the primary, I will compare political stereotypes of the two political parties and why they can't get along.

Democrat Ellen Corbett has a warm heart. She was bothered because Eric Swalwell has no empathy for his constituents. Corbett believes that representatives must be personally involved in handling the problems of their constituents. She will go that extra mile.

When I told Republican candidate Hugh Bussell that Corbett said Swalwell "has no empathy," he made a face, like "why does that matter?" He criticized Swalwell for "not being too bright," and "full of sound bites." Bussell believes in analysis and logic and not getting all warm and fuzzy over political issues.

Now there's nothing wrong with caring about people and their problems and wanting to help them. And there's nothing wrong with analyzing what works and what doesn't and using the best way to get the best results. However, when carried to extremes, we wind up with "bleeding heart liberals," and "keep your Government hands out of my pockets conservatives."

The sad thing is we need both. We need to move each of those strengths closer together to get a blend of the two, instead of an up or down seesaw ? my side is right, no my side is right ? like we have now.

Tom Cushing wrote his blog this week on 50 ways to say NO to political fundraising emails but he only gets one side of them. I'm on the email list for both Republican and Democrat fundraisers because I supported candidates on both sides at different times.

The Democrats are very strident ? of course, they are the emotional ones. "Koch Brothers are trying to buy the election!!!!!" Did you read what so-and-so said about President Obama!!!! "Stand with the President or the Republicans will destroy (a) Obamacare (b) a woman's right to choose (c) voting rights (d) all of the above. Send $3 or $5."

This is especially offensive to me because often they are squeezing this money from the people who can probably least afford even $3 a week or whenever these fundraising emails come out.

Republican emails tend to be less hyper but ask for more money, usually starting at $25, but both sides use scare tactics to wring money out of their followers, which only makes the divide greater.

Two years ago I joined No Labels, which was supposed to bridge the gap between Republicans and Democrats to work together to solve problems. A recent article on Yahoo News basically said that No Labels is a flop at getting anything done except raising money for itself. That sounds like just another organization out to grab my wallet.

So now I'm totally disillusioned with the two party system. Republicans in Congress just voted to sue the President. Really! Of course that will be an even bigger fund raising scheme for both parties. The more the Republicans attack Obama, the more money Obama and the Democrats rake in. The Republicans will of course demand more donations to finance this crazy scheme. It's all about the money folks, and I'm not paying or playing any more.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Bob P, a resident of another community,
on Jul 31, 2014 at 5:37 am

Roz, I have been disillusioned with the two party system for a while now. I have been both a Democrat and a Republican, and both parties do not represent me now. Both parties have become polarized by extreme beliefs, and both do not represent what I believe in. So, I lean more Libertarian now, less government is best, and let people decide what is best for them, not government. I do not vote along party lines, and haven't for a long while.

Posted by San Ramon Observer, a resident of San Ramon,
on Jul 31, 2014 at 2:44 pm

San Ramon Observer is a registered user.

Thanks for the comment, Bob. I don't know if I could be a Libertarian. The right wing Republicans are practically Libertarians with religious overtones. Ron Paul and his son Rand are outed Libertarians, but they ran as Republicans because they couldn't get elected as Libertarians.

I remember years ago when the second and third parties, like the Libertarians and Socialists, used to endorse candidates from the major parties. So Libertarians would endorse Republicans and Socialists would endorse Democrats, but now those third parties seem to have no voice at all.

Anyone who would have been in one of them is now in one of the main parties. That seems to be one of the reasons the two parties are so polarized now. We need a system more like Europe where second and third parties can win seats in Congress and form coalitions with the main parties without taking them over.


Posted by San Ramon Observer, a resident of San Ramon,
on Jul 31, 2014 at 9:00 pm

San Ramon Observer is a registered user.

Well both parties are jumping for joy and still begging for money. Here's the Democrat responses first, the Republican follows.

Email 1. Subject: "a-s-t-r-o-n-o-m-i-c-a-l

We?re on the verge of a nervous breakdown here at Democratic Headquarters.

Don?t worry! Things are going great! But we just realized we?re on the cusp of having our BEST WEEK EVER.

And you know what? It?s all thanks to John Boehner. Your response to his disgusting lawsuit has been astronomical!

Can you imagine his embarrassment if HIS lawsuit leads to OUR best week ever?

Let?s show him what we?re made of. With less than 2 hours to go, we're just 1,731 more donations away from having our best online fundraising week in history!


If you've saved your payment information with ActBlue Express, your donation will go through immediately:

Chip in $5 immediately >>

Chip in $35 immediately >>

Chip in $50 immediately >>

Chip in $100 immediately >>

Chip in $250 immediately >>

Or click here to donate another amount.

Let?s do this!


Email 2. Subject: "(no subject)


We can?t thank you enough!

We are close to hitting our all time single day donation record.

We only need 123 more donations to break our record.

The Democrats outraised us last month-- we can?t let this happen again.

We can?t afford to fall behind now, when we are SO close to winning back the United States Senate.

Act NOW to stand with us in supporting a Republican Senate majority.

Contribute $25 to help us win!

Donate today to help us keep up this momentum!

For our country,

Bill Murphy"

I did not contribute to either, but this lawsuit seems to be pulling in the bucks for both sides. Outrageous!


Posted by San Ramon Observer, a resident of San Ramon,
on Aug 1, 2014 at 1:53 pm

San Ramon Observer is a registered user.

I received a comment from Hugh Bussell that I misquoted him. I did not look at my notes from the interview but used my interpretations of what he said or what he meant. I should not have put them in quote marks.

I apologise to Mr. Bussell and to Ellen Corbett if I misquoted her too. I was using them to stereotype the two parties, which wasn't fair to either of them. I should know better since stereotyping groups or individuals is what I was criticizing in this blog.


Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Aug 3, 2014 at 10:32 am

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.


I didn't see any reference to the lawsuit in the republican email so I'm not sure how you made that connection.

The democrat email seems its scare tactics while the republican seems based more on competitive factors.

I wouldn't contribute to either party. Scoundrels, all of 'em.

Posted by San Ramon Observer, a resident of San Ramon,
on Aug 3, 2014 at 1:46 pm

San Ramon Observer is a registered user.


I reviewed some of my recent emails from the Republicans and they don't mention the lawsuit, but they urge contributions to "Help us defeat the Obama agenda for good." I interpret the lawsuit as part of that goal.


Posted by Jenny Halfpenny, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Aug 3, 2014 at 10:21 pm

Yep, what we need is compromise. We should only allow 1/2 of all women who seek an abortion the right to do so ... through a lottery system. Gay rights? Another lottery system: Just cut it down the middle with another lottery. Due process for immigrant children applying for refugee status? We'll compromise and send exactly 1/2 of them back immediately, and allow due process for the other half.

Just how dumb and/or removed from real human issues must one be to think that human rights are something that can be compromised on?

Follow this blogger.
Sign up to be notified of new posts by this blogger.



Post a comment

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay informed.

Get the day's top headlines from sent to your inbox in the Express newsletter.

Common Ground
By Sherry Listgarten | 2 comments | 1,242 views

Eating retro with TV dinners
By Deborah Grossman | 5 comments | 1,092 views

Labor unions win big in Sacramento
By Tim Hunt | 5 comments | 993 views