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Opening Arguments

It's not just my state I hate, OK?

Indianapolis' most notorious liberal, the Star's Dan Carpenter, laments the deterioration of Wisconsin to a point where it is, alas, more like Indiana, that is, less civil, more divisive, less neighborly and more controlled by those nasty outside rightwing nut millionaires. Less liberal, in other words:

Wisconsin is more like Indiana these days. And Ohio. And Florida. And other states where outside money in pursuit of national agendas has drowned out neighborly discussion, driven wedges, and made elections matter more than they used to or ought to.

"Divide and conquer" is the Walker declaration that assured him of enemies and of friendship with their enemies.

"Bipartisanship," says his fellow Republican Richard Mourdock, running for U.S. Senate here, "ought to consist of Democrats coming to the Republican point of view."

Elections conducted on those terms tend to imply score-settling rather than reconciliation after the votes are counted. They also attract politicians who are well-groomed sales reps for ideological interest groups rather than independent consensus-builders. Witness the exodus of moderates from the Indiana legislature.

[. . .]

Having lived in both states, I've often wished Indiana were more like its neighbor -- more center-left than center-right. Now I see a resemblance that's a far cry from such subtleties.

Poor baby -- one of the few wise political thinkers left in an increasingly hostile environment filled with morons on the wrong side of the partisan divide. I'm one of those "center-right" types trapped in a newsroom, so I can relate.

If everyone would just be moderate, the right would be neutered and the left would be ascendant and we could all go home happy. Don't you partisan extremists understand that? Nah, subleties are beyond you. Nuances, too, I bet.