Let’s Stop The Fetish For Bipartisanship

bipartisan-unity

It happens after every election. The winning candidates/parties tell the losers to get in line. They won, and now they have a mandate to steamroll the minority.

Of course, they never say this in so many words. Instead they gussy it up with noble-sounding sentiments like “bipartisanship” and “reaching across the aisle.” Of course, what they mean is that you should capitulate to them. The “reach across the aisle” stuff should go in their direction, not yours.

Yet, despite this palpable hypocrisy, the public at large seems to fall for it. They like the idea of working together and cooperation. And who wouldn’t? After all, we’re all taught in kindergarten that such things are the hallmarks of reasonable behavior.

But why do we assume that bipartisanship is an inherently positive thing? Why do we talk about it so often without talking about the end to which that bipartisanship would be applied? You almost get the idea that bipartisanship is, itself, the end.

Which is ridiculous. What good is bipartisanship in the pursuit of bad policy? It would be better to do nothing, most of the time, then to do a something that is the result of compromise that compromises ones principles.

This last election voters cast their ballots to maintain the status quo, and the status quo is a a Congress that is deeply divided and a President who is extremely polarizing. The voters, then, ought to reap what they sow.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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