What’s so great about “bipartisanship?”

November 12, 2006

Since the Democrats won back both houses of Congress last Tuesday, you can’t watch the TV or read the paper without tripping over the word “bipartisanship.”  The ostensible idea is that, by working together and not adhering too slavishly to party positions, the Republicans and Democrats can get a lot accomplished.

I reject this idea.  I vote for the Democrats, God help me, because I believe more in their party’s platform than I do in the Republican’s.  I want the people I vote for to support the party platform.  Unlike some United States voters, I don’t often vote for the “individual;” I vote for a group of policies that I expect my party to uphold and promote.  Individual positions and backroom politicking are anathema to a clearly articulated (dare I say “ideological”) party platform.

So there it is:  down with bipartisanship.  I didn’t vote for a bunch of compromises and watered-down positions.  I voted and stand for clear Democratic principals.

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7 Responses to “What’s so great about “bipartisanship?””

  1. Dave Says:

    Whenever both parties agree on anything, you know it has to be bad idea.

  2. sheepdays Says:

    You can say that again! Here’s a handy formula for bipartisan agreement:

    agreement = both parties funded by the same corporate interests

  3. Matt Says:

    Brett, I humbly disagree. I vote for balance, because while I am suspect of corporate influence, I am also suspect of ideologically driven legislation. Whether it comes from the right or the left, it tends to be unrealistic, practically speaking. I think compromise is more democratic than the winner-takes-all approach that was embodied by the now former Republican majority. Of course, what I think isn’t worth much. I have no PAC money to peddle.

  4. sheepdays Says:

    I’d prefer a parliamentary style of gov’t where you vote for the party instead of the person.
    In Argentina, among other places, you vote for a list of candidates in a particular party. The overall percentage of votes the list receives decides how many people from the list actually get to sit in Congress.

  5. alex Says:

    Matt —

    I agree with you, in theory. But what you assert assumes that both sides are willing to compromise. Since it seems to me that the right sees compromise as an affront to their ‘values’, I think the left needs to not just cave to the bullying of the right. Also, you can’t compromise if you don’t have a vision to begin with. So my dear Democrats need to get busy actually working towards something!

  6. Peter Says:

    I just read a review of a new book that seems to take your position. He believes that policies that lead presidents (at least) from their base makes for weak presidents.

  7. sheepdays Says:

    Welcome, Peter. Thanks for this book note–also look forward to hearing how the Slyder Stuffing goes next year this time.


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