Sen. Susan Collins: Ideologically-Driven Groups Have Helped Kill Compromise in Washington

The divide between the left and the right continues to grow with no end in sight.

Senators Angus King (I-ME) and Susan Collins (R-ME) sat down with Chuck Todd on NBC’s Meet the Press this past Sunday to provide their take as some of the more independent-minded members of the Senate, on the causes, effects, and solutions to polarization.

“The rise of ideologically-driven groups on both the left and the right who are requiring 100 percent compliance with 100 percent of their views 100 percent of the time, and the threat for members if that if they don’t comply, they will face a well-funded primary opponent,” said Collins.

DNC Chair Tom Perez’s statement last week provided a perfect example of this. Perez stated that the DNC would only support candidates that toe a specific ideological line; namely, being pro-choice is “not negotiable.” While many Democrats are likely inclined to agree with this, having such hardline stances could serve to hurt the party in the long run; especially, in more conservative parts of the country.

King believes that the death of bipartisanship can to some degree be attributed to the fact that legislators don’t really get to know one another anymore. “We leave on Thursday night, come back Monday morning. No one lives here anymore. When I worked here 40 years ago in the Senate, everyone lived here, their family was here. People literally don’t get to know each other,” King said.

Are they right? What do you think?