August 20th, 2010
12:35 PM ET
4 years ago

Wedge issues divide politicians from independents

Washington (CNN) - The current ruckus over building an Islamic center and mosque near ground zero, calls to change the 14th Amendment and other so-called "wedge" issues are roiling up each party's base, but they're turning off independents, analysts say.

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Filed under: 2010 • independents
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. aproudmemberoftheunpatrioticmob

    It is pretty much true. Politicians just don't get it. They have no credibility and are out of touch. Hence you get weirdos like Pelosi calling the citizens of this country names and saying that people should be investigated for disagreeing with her.

    August 20, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  2. Peter E

    That's because by next year not a single person will care or even remember these wedge issues. As for REAL issues, yes, democrats and republicans are both in the pockets of big business while just playing politics and blame games. Republicans keep saying it is long overdue that democrats stop blaming Bush and start taking responsibility, when at the same time republicans to THIS DAY keep blaming Bill Clinton for today's problems. Hypocrisy! Republicans keep demanding changes to democratic proposals but refuse to vote for them after those changes are made. Meanwhile democrats keep blaming republicans for today's problems when they themselves voted with the republicans during Bush's administration. Again, hypocrisy!
    We should throw out every single person of Congress and not allow them to run for office ever again!

    August 20, 2010 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  3. patrick

    The whole thing about independents is misleading.
    If I remember correctly, within the last 18 months, a lot of republicans, due to the shame brought upon them by their party refused to identify themselves as Republicans, but cloak themselves under the Independent label.
    So, even though they are not independents, they identify themselves as such. The pollsters are misled.
    Come election time, results will remain the same as in 2008, as these switchers will still vote in republican candidates, true independents will vote 80 – 20 in favor of Democrats

    August 20, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  4. Donna A. Reuter, Bremerton, WA

    Independents need to read the Constitiution of the United States of America and see which party is in compliance with their job duties and position description as prescribed by the Constitiution. The party that is closer to the Constitiution, is the one that they should vote for, not one that is blowing smoke.

    August 20, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  5. GOP Scorched Earth Politics

    "Wedge" issues divide everyone...to be Gay or not to be Gay, which religion is superior to other religions, how far the perimeter from 9/11 needs to be to allow Muslims their Constitutional right to worship, abortion, illegal immigration...etc are all just a total waste of time and debate accomplishes nothing. Stop pushing your sexual and religion agendas and keep them to yourselves. Nobody cares and it certainly should have nothing to do with how our government operates.

    August 20, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    I'm sorry, but it's the Dems and liberals who are raising these wedge issues like "let's repeal the 14th and 17th" or "I'm all butthurt about a muslim building a community center hundreds of feet from ground zero," so it is, in fact, biased to forcefully equivocate by implying that Dems and liberals and just as guilty as GOPers and conservatives of attempting to "gin up" their base with these issues. I can assure that the reason Dems and liberals are "roiled up" is precisely the same reason Independents are angry at such wedge issues: they're a weapon of mass distraction motivated solely by the desire for political gain and have NOTHING to do with bettering our country or the public's best interests. They are, in fact, damaging to our national discourse and run contrary to our founding values, but the GOP/conservatives NEED them because they have NOTHING of substance to offer in terms of vision, or pragmatic non-ideologically-based solutions to the problems we're facing. That's ok though, CNN, we understand..."balanced" means pretending Dems/liberals are exactly the same as GOPers/conservatives even when they're not...as opposed to simply telling it like it is.

    August 20, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  7. independent

    White supremists are independents. If they are still around, Black Panthers are independents. Anyone who isn't a Dem or Pub, including myself, is an independent. Some of these divisive wedge issues are coming from extreme independents.

    August 20, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    sorry, edit:

    I'm sorry, but it's NOT the Dems and liberals who are raising these wedge issues like "let's repeal the 14th and 17th" or "I'm all butthurt about a muslim building a community center hundreds of feet from ground zero," so it is, in fact, biased to forcefully equivocate by implying that Dems and liberals and just as guilty as GOPers and conservatives of attempting to "gin up" their base with these issues. I can assure that the reason Dems and liberals are "roiled up" is precisely the same reason Independents are angry at such wedge issues: they're a weapon of mass distraction motivated solely by the desire for political gain and have NOTHING to do with bettering our country or the public's best interests. They are, in fact, damaging to our national discourse and run contrary to our founding values, but the GOP/conservatives NEED them because they have NOTHING of substance to offer in terms of vision, or pragmatic non-ideologically-based solutions to the problems we're facing. That's ok though, CNN, we understand..."balanced" means pretending Dems/liberals are exactly the same as GOPers/conservatives even when they're not...as opposed to simply telling it like it is.

    August 20, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  9. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    I disagree. For example, Charlie Crist of Florida is now running for Senate as an Independent and he'll get the Democrat vote. Had he remained Republican, no Democrat would vote for him. However, there are a few Independents that don't deserve our vote.

    August 20, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  10. sonny chapman

    Wedge Issue-something to distract voters from REAL issues. Used very successfully by Republicans since the Red Scare in the 1950's by the Economic Branch of the Party against the Red Neck Branch of the Party to screw them while the Fat Cats reap billions .

    August 20, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  11. Pkm

    I like mr obama but some times i might go over to the indp party get rid of the old people and put the young people in who do not know how to cheat the system

    August 20, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  12. terry,va

    It's the economy stupid !! JOBS, JOBS, JOBS !!

    August 20, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  13. Michael

    We are in a very trying time regarding the economy and health care probem. The Mosque issue is more about politics than anything else. When Republicnas talk about changing anything to do with the constitution, I don't want to hear it. I don't like the Obama fix on health care but that is still a probel. To simply be against it and want to reverse it implies that some feel there is no problem. That turns me off as well. For once I would love to hear a candidate talk about what he wants to do without critizing his opponent. When they do that, what I hear is"I'm not that good but my oponent is worse". That really turns me off.

    August 20, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    "nearly six in 10 independent voters said they are angry at both parties,"

    And if you think that isn't precisely the result the GOPers/conservatives have been aiming at since November 2008, then you're not paying attention. The GOP has made it extremely clear that if they're going down, they're taking everyone else with them. That is their threat...that is their ultimatum to both the Dems/liberals and the rest of the country..."put us back in power or we're going to break the government and you're all going to suffer for it...while we blame the Dems of course."

    August 20, 2010 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |