Archive for Friday, November 14, 2008

Bipartisanship?

A great idea, but true examples of working together are exceptionally rare.

November 14, 2008

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There's a lot of talk these days among politicians and elected officials about the importance of "bipartisanship" and "reaching across the aisles."

The idea is that if the nation is to improve the chances for sound government, recovery from current economic problems, balanced legislation, a realistic handling of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the selection of federal judges, the dangers of terrorism and many other extremely important matters, there needs to be a true bipartisan approach to addressing these current challenges.

It sounds good and it is a wise philosophy, but in many cases it is nothing but nice-sounding talk with little follow-through or execution.

Usually the individuals talking this way are the officeholders of the winning political party. This applies to state legislative bodies as well as in the U.S. Congress, in the state Capitol buildings and in the White House.

"Bipartisanship" in the minds of the politicians in the majority and victorious party really means "we'll explain and lay down how we intend to approach this particular matter. It would be nice if you agree to our plan. Otherwise, we have the votes to ram this through with or without your help."

This manner of "bipartisanship" applies to both Republicans and Democrats, whichever party is in power, at state and national levels. It's too bad examples of true bipartisanship are so rare as there is so much that could be accomplished if lawmakers, governors and presidents did indeed try to work for the overall best solution to an issue rather than playing hardball, raw politics.

Unfortunately, the name of the game these days in politics is "to the winner belongs the spoils" and "spoils" means whatever is in the best political interests of the reigning party.

History shows neither the Democrats nor Republicans have practiced true bipartisanship in legislative affairs.

Comments

jaywalker 6 years, 9 months ago

Gee, Wilbur, speaking of simple-minded mush..........The LTE is spot on, and your self-styled 'mushiness' kinda said the same thing, just much more poorly. "we have parties for a reason""we get a choice""we need to remain clear that differences remain in a democracy""with Ds clearly taking the leadership roles they have been elected to fill"Yeah, umm, no need to voice the the extraordinarily obvious, the merely obvious will do.And to sum up : "your call for a rther mushy bipartisanship should translate to a call for legitimate negotiation and dialogue between R and D, majoirty and minority, Congres and the President"Sorry, but isn't your 'translation' the definition of bipartisanship? I apologize for picking on you, but that was simply a horrendous response.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 9 months ago

Simplified, fiscally conservative republicans are the missing link in the current administration. Where are they is the question. Obama is a fiscal conservative I have no doubt. Real fiscal conservatives understand: New energy sources is one big key to millions of new jobs that the country needs New energy sources covers many USA needs:1. USA needs new wealth by way of millions of jobs2. USA needs to stop polluting the air for matters of health and economics3. Building quality energy efficient vehicles also puts people back to work4. Wind,Solar and hydro-power pay back quick and are much less expensive to constructthus creating more constant, efficient and less expensive sources of electricity5. Wind,solar and hydropower will NOT require enormous quantities of tax subsidies to store unhealthy radioactive waste.6. Consumers need more reasonable,efficient and cleaner sources of energy as a matterof economics. Why support expensive sources of energy?7. No matter the price gasoline it is a primary contributor to global warming therefore it is not reasonable to pretend it is not.Real fiscal conservatives are not be fooled by low prices of gasoline and realize this is one more effort to manipulate americans and make fools of them. All consumers no matter your wealth need to become fiscally responsible thinkers aka fuel efficiency and less expensive sources of electricity = across the board reduction in our cost of living.Real fiscal conservatives understand consumers can control the decisions because there are millions upon millions upon millions of smart consumers. Once the world takes note that USA is moving in a fiscal responsible direction thus becoming part of a world wide team much will change for the positive. A National Health Insurance program would also open doors for new industrial development.

haywire 6 years, 9 months ago

According to tv news last night GW Bush siimply does not want to cooperate with other world financial powers because he is being told by other financial powers the USA CANNOT continue down his road of the largest debtor in the world. Until that mold is broken and tossed nothing will change until Bush is gone. However if he would accept the notion that the USA is no longer considered the world financial superpower and become a team member I say things would begin change a bit more rapidly. Instead GW will make the world wait for pragmatists to replace his "stay the course" mentality.

beatrice 6 years, 9 months ago

jay, you add no comment regarding the article, just an attack on another poster. This is more of your typical hall-monitor activity coming from someone who clearly thinks far too highly of himself. I'll bet you were a tattle-tale growing up too, weren't you? Pathetic, simply pathetic. I anticipate we will see a greater amount of bipartisanship in the coming administration, in part because it would be extremely difficult for there to be less than we had with the current administration.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 9 months ago

"The Bush administration exploited a financial panic, vastly exaggerating its dangers for the broader economy, to extort $700 billion from a Congress only too willing to open taxpayer's wallets to bail out those who benefited from the speculative excesses of an $8 trillion housing bubble.Whatever this massive public purchase of bad debt will do to patch up the credit system, the bailout will not counteract the downward spiral in housing prices that brought on the credit crisis and will undoubtedly continue. The bailout will do little to make bad mortgage debt more viable or to provide relief to homeowners behind in their mortgage payments or facing foreclosure. Nor does the bailout place effective limits on CEOs' pay or their golden parachutes, erect the regulatory safeguards that will curb future financial excesses, or counteract the worsening recession. Worse yet, the bailout swells the federal budget deficit and for that reason will likely sap whatever political will could have been mustered to make the massive public investments necessary to prevent the economy from falling into a prolonged depression. "http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2008/0908ednote.html

WilburM 6 years, 9 months ago

Where to start? This is just simple-minded mush. First, we have parties for a reason -- they get to try to govern, and we can judge whehter we don't like their actions very well. We get a choice (hence, McCain-Obama or Roberts-Slattery). Second, and at the same time, there is a substantial amount of bipartisan ship that does occur in Congress, and across the branches, in day-today activity -- this has changed in the last 25 years or so, and especially with the DeLay-Bush period of 1994-2008. And Dems have certainly contributed as well. But much major legislation int he Reagan and Clinton administrations relied on cross-party majorities.In the end, your call for a rther mushy bipartisanship should translate to a call for legitimate negotiation and dialogue between R and D, majoirty and minority, Congres and the President.We'll have to see what happens, but I would expect Rs in Congress to oppose a goodly amount of what Obama and D leaders propose, in large part because they disagree with the policies. That's fine and as it should be -- so let's think reasonably about hopes for serioous dialogue among serious people in serious times. But we need to remain clear that differences remain in a democracy, and articulating them is scracely an unsolvable problem - if the process is allowed to work. Which is now in the hands of president-elect Obama and congressional leaders from both parties (with Ds clearly taking the leadership roles they have been elected to fill).

jaywalker 6 years, 9 months ago

I feel ya, camper. Most often with friends I try to refrain from discussions on politics or religion when I know there are two sides of the spectrum in the room. Generally speaking, most end in heated arguments and nobody ever changes their mind about much.

camper 6 years, 9 months ago

Jaywalker, good words. If anything, this election has proved to me that we all have deeply ingrained belief systems about politics and oh whatever else. And as new events and data reveal themselves, they continually challenge our ideologies. It is true that some things never change, and I never belived in the "reinventing the wheel philosopy", but sometimes I think a new approach is necessary. I happen to think Obama offers a good new approach to the challenges that face us.

supertrampofkansas 6 years, 9 months ago

You guys are fricking hilarious...Well you can't attack me for attacking you for attacking the other poster for attacking another poster who was also attacking me and you and attacking attacking attacking...or how about "well you shouldn't read my posts because I never read your posts even though because I am responding to your post means I must have read your post and you must have read my post because we are responding to each other's posts about not reading each other posts...Did anyone follow that?You all have a serious chasing-your-tail syndrome.

jaywalker 6 years, 9 months ago

bea, I just knew you'd have something to say on this. Again, your reading comprehension, or exceptional lack thereof, rears its ugly head. I commented that the LTE was spot on, and my response was to show Wilbur that while he intended to criticize the opinion by saying it was mush-mouthed, he had posted something much worse. It's exceptionally hypocritical of you, by the by, to repeatedly come on here and 'attack' me (that's just foolish and childish by the way, these are not 'attacks') for 'attacking' someone else, AND refer to me as 'hall monitor' when you can't seem to get your panties out of a wad every time you need to 'hall monitor' me.Pathetic, bea, simply pathetic.Again, I advise you don't read my posts as I've adopted such omission with yours. You never, EVER, have anything even remotely interesting for me to read, and more often than not it's idiotic garbage. I find it much more pleasant to avoid your ....'choke'...opinion...'choke'. Or you can continue on 'attacking' me unsolicited. I also enjoy pointing you out for the hypocritical fool you are when you decide to berate me. Have a nice day.

camper 6 years, 9 months ago

Well this is a good and correct notion. This election, more than any I can remember, has brought forth much debate and ideology. Sometimes this debate is productive, but sometimes it is dividing. The debate part is good, but the dividing part is not so good. I have debated things about this election amongst family and friends and sometimes wonder if it really was just an argument. Afterwords feeling bad because I know I am sometimes guilty of stirring things up. Sometimes I just stick to the sports page and keep focused on work, because politics can be extremely vicious. But at other times I try to voice opinion on things I view as not quite correct (even though I am often wrong on some of my opinions). I do give credit to the LJW editor for sometimes voicing an unpoular opinion (in Lawrence atleast) but also allowing critical response at the same time.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 9 months ago

How many other high-ranking Democrats had dealings with Boxer's aide that go busted for child porn?

beatrice 6 years, 9 months ago

Snap, I don't know the story, but I'm guessing it is the exact same number as there were Republicans who had dealings with the gay porn site "reporter" given access to the White House by Bush. It is one of many aides, not the Senator herself. hallmonitorwalker seems upset.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 9 months ago

bea, that story is getting remarkably little play in the national media. I do wonder why....

BigDog 6 years, 9 months ago

Merrill,Sources of information???? Or are these just you opinions?Gasoline as #1 source of global warming??That Obama as a fiscal conservative is really funny too. Billions in new spending programs is not a fiscal conservative. Tax increases on wealthy and businesses during a recession ..... not fiscal conservative philosophy.

texburgh 6 years, 9 months ago

Was the LJW calling for "bipartisanship" and cooperation when the R's had complete control from 2000-2006? Of course not. Bipartisanship in the LJW mindset is when Democrats compromise their principles to bring along a few Republicans. Republicans never have to compromise.Perhaps the LJW remembers that fool they endorsed twice - George W Bush. Remember him, Dolph? He was a uniter, not a divider and led us to the most divided nation since the civil war.

jaywalker 6 years, 9 months ago

Camper,That's part of the reason he got my vote. There's a number of positions he takes that don't jibe with my views, but above all we need a leader right now, someone that people can get excited about and people willing to follow, sacrifice, and work toward a better nation. I'm praying we're all correct with this path.I will say I enjoy coming to this site and conversing with some of the posters here, especially when our views are not the same. I've always been open to all sides, I find being polarized on anything is akin to a closed mind and there's nothing I appreciate more than constantly learning from others. I'm a life-time 'student', no doubt about it. "A walker searching for something to belong to in order to belong to myself. " And there have been several posters here, like logicsound, jonasopines, t-r-a, and others who have come at subjects from different angles and swayed my thinking or at least made me take on a new perspective. Just like good books or movies, I often judge things by how much I think about them after I've left their immediate contact. Have enjoyed your views on things as well. Open minds always grab my attention.

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