Friday, April 16, 2010

Wingnuts


With extremists on both left and right driving so much political debate in the US these days, it seemed an appropriate time to talk with John Avlon, author of "Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America."

What they're hijacking is a system that only succeeds when there is compromise from both sides. Unfortunately, the concept of working with those you disagree with to achieve a common good seems to be lost between the 10% on one side and the 10% on the other side who disavow anyone in the middle, particularly those who attempt any kind of cooperation.

Among the points Avlon and I discussed:
  • how so many Tea Party protesters don't know that their tax rates and government pork have both been reduced in the last year
  • the irony of Fox News stars turning on Tom Coburn, one of the most conservative members of the US Senate
  • which liberals qualify as members of the lunatic fringe
  • whether the media is failing in its coverage of these extremists
  • what effect he expects these political divisions to have on the elections this fall and in 2012
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John Avlon is senior political columnist for The Daily Beast and a contributor to CNN.