Arianna Debates Partisanship On ABC's 'This Week'

During the roundtable discussion on ABC's "This Week," Arianna responded to retiring Sen. Evan Bayh's (D-Ind.) claim that the major problem in Washington is too much partisanship. Such statements, she said, are made "with metronomic regularity ... That is one of the most ludicrous complaints."

Washington Post columnist George Will offered a "hear, hear." Arianna continued:

Every major milestone in American history has been won after a major protracted and partisan battle. Go back to the Emancipation Proclamation, the 19th Amendment, the New Deal, Medicare, Social Security, the Voting Rights Act. These were big partisan battles -- one of them involved a civil war. And so the idea that somehow we can all come to the middle and do what? Free half the slaves? Or free them from 12 to five? These are major issues that people have very definite differences on.

ABC's Terry Moran interjected, arguing that "the country is in the great muddled middle. All polls show on most issues, they would like some compromise."

"That's not true at all," Arianna responded. "Even the despised public option has 70 percent behind it. Nate Silver crunched the numbers: the jobs bill -- the $100 billion jobs bill, not the $15 billion jobs bill in the Senate -- has 70 percent of the people behind it. The idea that we are in a mushy middle is simply a media invention."


At another point, Arianna weighed in on CPAC, the major annual gathering of conservative activists.

"The violent imagery was fascinating," she said. "Even [Minnesota Gov.] Tim Pawlenty, who is supposed to be a moderate, said we need to take a page out of the playbook of Tiger Woods' wife and take a nine iron and smash a window out of big government. That was the day after the pilot had flown a plane into a federal government building. So that kind of rhetoric is disturbing. And of course what must be troubling for the conservatives is that the big hit, the guy that got the rock star welcome, was Dick Cheney. Dick Cheney left office with a 13 percent approval rating! There were shouts of 'Run, Dick, Run,' which I'm sure the White House is fully endorsing."