Richard Cohen on the vices of the two parties:
But the GOP's tropism toward its furiously angry base, its tolerance and currying of anti-immigrant sentiment, its flattering of the ignorant on matters of undisputed scientific consensus — evolution, for instance — and, from the mouth of Palin, its celebration of drab provincialism, have sharpened the division between red and blue. Red is the color of yesterday.
Ah, I know, the blues are not all virtuous. They are supine before self-serving unions, particularly in education, and they are knee-jerk opponents of offshore drilling, mostly, it seems, because they don't like Big Oil. They cannot face the challenge of the Third World within us — the ghetto with its appalling social and cultural ills — lest realism be called racism. Sometimes, too, they seem to criticize American foreign policy simply because it is American.
I think we have a case of false or forced equivalence. First, prominent Republican national candidates, conservative news networks and magazines, as well as leading conservative thinkers and media figures espouse the views in the first paragraph; few leading Democrats of equal stature, liberal thinkers, think tanks and so forth hold the views in the second paragraph.
Second, while for the Republican ills he mentions actual positions, for the Democrats he stresses their motives for holding the positions they hold. So while the one party's actual stated policies are absurd; the other party might include those whose motives are silly but whose views seem otherwise not to be that bad–after all, it's good to criticize offshore drilling, to have a nuanced understanding of social and cultural ills, and to criticize American foreign policy, isn't it?