When progressives speak about Republicans, it is frequently harsh, and often demeaning. Head over to places like Daily Kos or The Progressive Zionist for a myriad of examples. However, the descriptions put forth regularly seem at odds with the reality. Republicans are not monsters as depicted, but Americans that represent a large swath of public opinion and values.
Many progressives actually believe that merely citing a conservative source makes people "hard-line, right wing Republican partisans." Reading conservative sources is apostasy to these progressives. Thus, they avoid what conservatives actually say, like the plague, and do not really know what conservative policies are, yet characterize them anyway. We know where their information comes from, a noise machine that is less interested in finding common ground than fomenting division.
This brings me to a illustrative blurb concerning whether progressives using the above approach are to be trusted when they label their adversaries or communicate about the positions their adversaries take. It is from conservative educators in a 2012 report about the corrupting effect of political activism in the UC System.
[John Stuart] Mill said that “He who knows only his own side of the case, knows little of that.” In other words, you don’t really understand the case for the left until you also thoroughly grasp the case for the right, because the one answers the other, which means that each is a necessary part of the definition of the other. It follows that in an academic context an all-left department would not even be able to make a competent exposition of leftist thought: “They do not, in any proper sense of the word, know the doctrine which they themselves profess,” says Mill. If left professors think they can simply present the right’s case themselves, Mill has this devastating response: “Both teachers and learners go to sleep at their post as soon as there is no enemy in the field.” And for that reason, he went on to say, the student must “be able to hear [the arguments] from people who actually believe them, who defend them in earnest, and do their very utmost for them. He must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.” As for those who do not: “All that part of the truth which turns the scale, and decides the judgment of a completely informed mind, they are strangers to.”
The full report, which goes beyond this point and is worth reading in its entirety, can be found here.
Thus, the next time a progressive argues from an echo chamber of self-enforced censorship about positions of the "hard-line, right wing Republican partisans," ask yourself if he or she “knows little of that.”