February 5th, 2010
12:01 PM ET

Warning: Ice and politicians ahead

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

With snow and ice once again swirling across the nation, I am reminded of a quirk in human behavior. Despite driver’s ed classes and years of warnings, many motorists have an almost uncontrollable urge when caught in a skid, to stomp on the brakes and turn the wrong way. They know it will lead to disaster, and yet they can’t help themselves. It’s like John Edwards on the campaign trail.

I mention this because both major political parties are sliding like geese on grease over the growing revolt by independent voters, but neither party seems able to stop making the same mistakes that put them into this predicament. To whit: They keep blaming the other side, deepening the DC gridlock, and further alienating the very voters they need this coming fall.

On the Dem front, President Obama talked up the need for a new spirit of bipartisanship in his State of the Union address, and he met with Republicans for a sharing of grievances. For a bit, progress looked possible. But this week, at the podium in front of his own party players, he was back to heaving red meat like a tiger tamer at feeding time; blaming virtually everything that has gone wrong on the GOP. Add to that the ranting of liberals in his party, who feel his Administration is already way too centrist, and you can see why those independent moderates are being turned off by the blue side.

You might think that Republicans, out of power and with seemingly the most to gain, would be quick to take advantage. After all, much of what these disaffected voters want fits neatly into the red box: More accountability, less spending, smaller government. But instead, the Repubs are engaged in a baffling battle with their conservative wing which thinks the key to the future is pulling hard to the right and stepping on the accelerator, while repeatedly ripping into the Dems in the process.

See what I mean? Many independents have made clear time and again that they despise this type of behavior. But on both sides of the aisle, the clueless parties keep yanking on the wheel, and stepping on the brakes. And they wonder why public confidence in politics keeps driving deeper into the ditch.

Follow Tom on Twitter @tomforemancnn.

Filed under: Independents • Opinion • Raw Politics • Tom Foreman
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Tim Gibson

    One problem may be that the independant cannot be brushed off like fresh snow on the windshield. Ice requires more work to remove and while it appears that neither side is willing or able to do the work required for safe travel on icy roads, the independant has done the work for a clear view in hazardous conditions.

    A single car trip to the ditch cannot be blamed on the other driver who came out of no where, "did you see that guy" mentality. Responsibility is the first rule of privilege and it does not give anyone immunity for failure to obey rules of the road, in all seasons and conditions.

    February 5, 2010 at 1:08 pm |
  2. Marcus Smith

    So called Independant voters are always Right or Left Leaning. Therefore, I always laugh when somone says"Independant" because they always end up voting for one of the parties ie Democrats/Republican!

    February 5, 2010 at 12:49 pm |