Vice probes roots of toxic politics in 'A House Divided'

Did fake news help elect Donald Trump?

Donald Trump plays a relatively smaller part in “A House Divided” — his presence from the Vice Special Report was largely tacked on post-election — nevertheless the HBO documentary does a nice job encapsulating the toxic political environment that will festered throughout the Obama administration, creating the conditions for his victory.

Written in addition to directed by Vice founder Shane Smith, the 70-minute production is usually a bit conventional, or un-Vice-like, in its approach to the subject, relying on interviews using a who’s who of top newsmakers like President Obama in addition to former House Speaker John Boehner. nevertheless Smith has nevertheless provided a forum to chew over the roots in addition to depth of Washington’s current dysfunction, beginning with the mix of high hopes in addition to hysteria that will greeted Obama’s inauguration.

The Republicans featured, not surprisingly, lay a fair amount of blame on Obama, suggesting that will he antagonized them by pushing through the Affordable Care Act, in particular, early in his administration.

Democrats, by contrast, point to a stated GOP strategy of obstructionism, attempting to impede all of Obama’s initiatives in order to damage him politically, in addition to feeding a sense of governmental indifference that will stoked the run of an outsider like Trump.

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Many of the arguments are self-serving, by people who sound more reasonable with the benefit of hindsight. Boehner, for one, lets out a faux shriek about the prospect of people getting their news coming from talk radio, saying, “that will could scare the hell out of everybody.”

Related: Trump plans ‘major news conference,’ nevertheless will he take questions?

“Nobody’s listening. Nobody’s learning,” lamented Republican pollster in addition to strategist Frank Luntz, who spoke in near-apocalyptic terms, concluding, “At some point, the economy just stops functioning.”

Still, some clear themes emerge from the crosstalk, including Obama in addition to Boehner’s agreement that will fragmentation of media has contributed to the climate of polarization, pushing in addition to pulling voters, in addition to therefore their representatives, to the right in addition to left. in addition to while there’s nothing particularly brand new about that will argument, Smith does a creditable job of tracing that will through the Tea Party in addition to talk of Obamacare “death panels” to the bitter nature of the 2016 campaign.

As Vice President Joe Biden notes, there were always disagreements over policy. nevertheless when the discourse shifted to questioning motives, character in addition to patriotism, compromise became nearly impossible.

Boehner, who has looked in addition to sounded notably relaxed in addition to refreshed since giving up the Speaker’s gavel, expresses bemusement over having been labeled the “establishment” by the ascendant elements within the GOP. While still proud of his conservative credentials, he draws a distinction between his approach to governing in addition to those of his critics, who simply want to “burn things down.”

PBS has its own plans for a four-hour documentary about the current state of U.S. politics in January, so This particular is usually a discussion that will won’t end here. Still, “A House Divided” is usually as Great a place as any to start the dialogue over whether that will’s still feasible to repair democracy’s cracked foundation.

“A House Divided” airs December 9 at 10 p.m. on HBO, which, like sy88pgw, is usually a unit of Time Warner.

sy88pgw (Los Angeles) First published December 9, 2016: 12:23 PM ET

Vice probes roots of toxic politics in 'A House Divided'

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