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Voters' choices are what have produced nation's political divide

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board Published: November 23, 2012

This is making it easier for red state governors with Republican legislative majorities to thumb their noses at Obamacare provisions, as Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin did Monday. The Republican supermajority here makes it relatively easy to reject Medicaid expansion. It also makes the Democratic response to the rejection quite hollow. What can the Democrats do?

Oklahoma is illustrative because it went redder than ever in this month's election. Republicans hold every statewide office. They have supermajorities in the Legislature and hold all seven seats in the congressional delegation. Even if Oklahoma had a Democrat in the governor's office, it's not clear what he or she could get done.

Missouri's Gov. Jay Nixon is in that situation now. The Democrat's vetoes of the past may no longer be sustained by the Republican supermajority now in place. Republicans in the California legislature can feel Nixon's pain. They can do little to slow the agenda of Gov. Jerry Brown and his fellow Democrats.

Calls for bipartisanship and negotiation will go forth from the White House, the halls of Congress and state capitols, but voters themselves are a prime reason for the divide. This is no cause for lamentations. It's how the system was designed.

At the national level, about half of us didn't like how the 2012 presidential race ended. In Oklahoma, two-thirds of us didn't like it. This was the same percentage of Vermont voters who were quite happy with Obama's re-election.

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board
The Oklahoman Editorial Board consists of Gary Pierson, President and CEO of The Oklahoma Publishing Company; Christopher P. Reen, president and publisher of The Oklahoman; Kelly Dyer Fry, editor and vice president of news; Christy Gaylord...
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