"Crossfire" is now a metaphor for politics in Washington. There are two teams, each with its own politicians, think tanks, special-interest groups, media outfits and TV personalities. The requirement of this world is that you must always be reliably left or right. If you are an analyst "on the right" you must always support what the team does. If President Bush invades Iraq, you support it. If he increases the deficit, you support that. If he opposes stem-cell research, you support that, too. There's no ideological coherence or consistency to these positions. Republicans are now fervent nation-builders, but only two years ago scornfully opposed the whole concept. You must support your team. If you don't, it screws up the TV show.How to change this? Not a clue. Should it be changed? Yes, I hate this ridiculous partisan hackery as much as Jon Stewart does.
Does it matter in elections though? Apparently not much. Republican voters apparently vote on "moral values" (code for anti-abortion, anti-gay) and 42% of them think Saddam attacked the World Trade Center. Unless Americans become more politically aware (and less partisan) it's a lost cause.