Is partisanship on the rise? Well, the accusations of partisanship have increased, but I think that has been used to mask an actual increase in bipartisanship. Once the Republicans got rid of the Gingrich crowd who were interested in a strongly ideological conservatism that approached libertarianism (please note that one of the members of that group was Bob Barr, now the Libertarian Party candidate for President) in order to try to keep power, they acted just like the Democrats in most things, especially in economics. And, despite the rhetoric, the Democrats are almost identical to the Republicans on social issues. Even on things like abortion, they are really arguing about the nuances of when it is appropriate to have an abortion, not if it is appropriate. The policies put in place by both parties following 9-11 and the recent bailout make it even clearer that the Republicans and the Democrats are almost identical in their desire for the government to seize power throughout the country. And whether it is Obama with his factually-inaccurate understanding of economics or McCain with his admitted ignorance of economics, the outcome was the same: both voted for the bailout bill, which has resulted in the partial nationalization of many banks (and before the bailout, the U.S. government already nationalized Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, thus bringing back into the fold two huge mistakes which will remain mistakes, since nobody will get rid of them). The elevated rhetoric has only worked to mask these facts. I don't think that's an accident, either.