Bipartisanship in Washington, D.C. has for the most part devolved into a pipe dream, a dirty word – or both.
A pipe dream because after decades of gerrymandering – partisanship is what you get. Gerrymandering is elected officials choosing voters rather than the other way round. Those already elected carve Congressional districts into bizarre shapes to – at the grainiest of micro-levels – decide which voters go where. You can’t create a plethora of 60+% partisan districts – and then act surprised when the resulting elected officials are partisan.
Bipartisanship is now rightly a dirty word for conservatives – because in DC Speak it means “Capitulate in as many ways as possible to Leftists.” The examples of this unbelievable double standard are without end.
From the just deceased Lame Duck Session – here is how two Senators were treated for their opposition to the absurd and awful, rushed and harried, bipartisan $1.1 trillion “Cromnibus.”
Conservatives can thus certainly be forgiven for recoiling whenever they receive demands for “bipartisanship.”
But it ain’t always and forever terrible. When the opportunity for positive-policy-bipartisanship presents itself – we should grab on with both hands.
Republican Mitch McConnell, in line to become U.S. Senate majority leader, said he’ll try to end Washington gridlock and that he and President Barack Obama spoke about working on a tax-law revision and trade agreements….
“I said send us trade agreements. We’re anxious to take a look at them,”the senator said. “We’ll see whether we can work with the president. We hope so.”
…Obama told the Business Roundtable, a group of chief executives of top U.S. businesses, that he would like to pursue corporate tax reform (and) free-trade deals….
“The good news, despite the fact that obviously the midterm elections did not turn out exactly as I had hoped, is that there remains enormous areas of potential bipartisan action and progress,” Obama said.
Of course, the DC Speak Enforcers don’t like bipartisanship unless it results in ever-larger government.
The outreach to Republicans, combined with Obama’s changed rhetoric on international trade, has frustrated Democrats such as Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio….
Wait – this Senator Brown?
Removing government impediments to commerce certainly advances the economy. Less government = more economic activity. Precisely because of this government shrinkage – Senator Brown opposes the bipartisanship.
Then of course there’s….
Wait – that’s a whole lot of Socialist Senator Sanders opposition to bipartisanship. Why? Because these efforts make government smaller. What kind of bipartisanship does he love?
That “energy”bill was yet another government-money, Solyndra-stuffed, Crony Socialist nightmare mess. It greatly grew government – so Senator Sanders was suddenly again bipartisan.
“Bipartisanship”doesn’t have to be bad. And we do not have to let the DC Speak Enforcers define it.
Free trade and tax reform are bipartisan. And they’re good. Let us thus go forward – together.
Editor’s Note: This first appeared in Human Events.