Over the past two weeks - following a self-imposed sabbatical - I have had the time to more fully view the political landscape as presented by the mass media. Granted, it's impossible to get any honest assessment from watching the talking heads on television but I tried nonetheless.
In hours of grazing and gazing on politics, one stark difference has emerged.
It is this.
Conservatives are quick to criticize those within their ranks who sway in the wind. Liberals never attack their own regardless of the circumstances or the issue.
I long for one staunch Obama supporter to lay any blame at the feet of the President on any issue large or small. Look hard and long and you'll still come up empty.
I both recognize and appreciate party loyalty. The term yellow dog Democrat comes to mind. But are we so blinded by the aura of Obama that we cannot at the very least place some of the blame on at least one issue on his drive for massive spending and an expanded federal government?
I listened intently yesterday as a popular conservative pundit lambasted members of his own party for their weaknesses on holding the line on spending. He named names. He outlined broken campaign promises. And he pulled no punches.
But I have yet to hear one liberal pundit even remotely step toward the line of criticizing the Obama administration for the obvious excesses that are compounding the debt on a daily basis. Or how about the new tone promised in Washington? That certainly evaporated once the ballots were counted.
What is so clearly lacking in the political arena is an honest assessment without the burden of partisan politics.
Can no one recall the conservatives' cries directed toward former President Bush when he abandoned his promise of fiscal restraint and went on a spending binge? Surely your memory can recall that recent discussion.
But the Obama promise of transparency has become a standing joke without one liberal voice even taking note.
How about conservatives trying to find at least one positive move from this administration and liberals finding one broken promise? Now that might provide an assessment in which the American public can at long last trust.
The political voices of the day are limited to the partisan fringe in both parties. Somewhere hidden near the middle are those leaders who should be quick to praise and quick to criticize when the country's direction is shifted.
It's hard to imagine a time when honest assessments are so important and when blind partisan dogma should be abandoned.
And that clearly applies to both parties.