George Lakoff has US politics pegged. If you have an hour and want to understand how Bush or Clinton or Reagan can get elected president in spite of people not liking their policies then listen to Dave Winer's conversation with Lakoff earlier this year.
If you have two hours to spare on the other hand, then read Lakoff's little book Don't Think of an Elephant. Really smart and sensible people like Lakoff should be getting time on broadcasting networks at the expense of the party hack soundbite brigade that come up with the crackpot notions of crackdowns on 5-year-olds or sending criminals to visit their stabbed victims in A&E. Then maybe we could get a sense of substance back into public debates.