Unfortunately, the divide extends to families and marriages. I am conservative, my wife liberal. Didn't use to matter much in the Clinton years, for example, because Bill heaved to the middle and signed some Republican ideas; Bush signed some very liberal bills. It all seems sort of in the middle with any Obama-types getting pulled to the center and therefore becoming more acceptable, less divisive. Problem now is that Obama -- so far -- has refused to budge. In so doing, he has driven the divide instead of bridging it. When you have a Clinton and a Dole arguing about the middle, nobody gets too mad; and the two guys probably even like each other. When engage in more extremity and denigration, all hell breaks loose.