Richard Lugar's remarks after his defeat in yesterday's Republican senatorial primary are interestingly asymmetrical:
I don't remember a time when so many topics have become politically unmentionable in one party or the other. Republicans cannot admit to any nuance in policy on climate change. Republican members are now expected to take pledges against any tax increases. For two consecutive Presidential nomination cycles, GOP candidates competed with one another to express the most strident anti-immigration view, even at the risk of alienating a huge voting bloc. Similarly, most Democrats are constrained when talking about such issues as entitlement cuts, tort reform, and trade agreements.
It almost sounds as if he thinks Republicans are a bigger part of the problem than Democrats: Republicans must "take pledges" and must not admit "any nuance" and are "strident" whereas Democrats "are constrained when talking about" certain issues.
This could just be because it's the Republican version of the ideological purification machine that he had just run into; so he described it in detail and then nodded to the existence of a Democratic equivalent. No doubt he would say--and I agree--that on both sides partisanship is worse than it used to be. In any event, his bottom-line fear--"Our political system is losing its ability to even explore alternatives" -seems on target. And his extended remarks are well worth reading.