Let’s Stop The Fetish For Bipartisanship


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.

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  • Onslaught1066

    I can go along with that.

  • $8194357

    Ephesians 6:13-15

    New International Version (NIV)

    13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
    14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,
    15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.

    • Mike Quinn

      New Local Version
      12 Therefore come out from behind the bush declare who you are I say unto your. If you belief fear not to reveal yourself. For if you hideth you serve Satan. Those that follow me come into the light of God and be known as an example of honesty.

      • $8194357

        Quinn the leftist prophet of satan..
        We have not seen nothin like the mighty Quinn..

  • whowon

    Without the consent of the House, the government cannot spend any money. Not one thin dime. Not a penny. Not a peso. Time to replace John.

    • Gern Blanston

      Oh, but if they don’t act the’ll get saddled with a – gulp – GOVERNMENT SHUT DOWN!!!! Aaaaaaagh!!!

  • Mike Quinn

    In other words Rob ” Lets just continue to be greedy rats insisting on tax cuts for the rich”. In other words ” Lets just continue to ignore reality”. It worked so well. At some point you admit you are a drunk. At some point you admit your trickle down illusion is busted. At some point you give up your evil and you actually become a decent person that fights for the common man. The band played on the titanic as it sunk. It must have been your idea. Give up come to the light. Do you think they are still going to pay Karl Rove to lie? You make a living as a right wing distortion expert. The market has tanked, the Koch brothers paid hundreds of millions to pump out lies. They got nothing in return. Perhaps you should turn to honesty and see if any money can be made fighting for working people instead of pushing the agenda of the greedy vermin.

    • sbark

      For sure lets go quickly to a Ideology that survives on eliminating dissent thru violence and has been a parasite on any of the worlds economies since Karl Marx wrote it down……
      There is no level of what you want that has been successful in history….it may get prolonged due to USA replaceing their military costs (Canada, Europe etc), but it always falls on its face and takes hundreds of millions with it……..
      Just keep covetting other peoples property……there is always someone poorer than you that wants your stuff…..

    • http://flamemeister.com flamemeister

      The trouble with “common man” and “working people” is that they are liberal buzz words—along with “the masses”—that reveal liberals’ deep contempt (masked by fake “concern”) for others when they actually regard people in general as lab rats for liberal social experimentation.

      The solid liberal base, to paraphrase Schopenhauer, is composed of those who would kill their brothers just to get the kidney fat to grease their boots with.

      • $8194357

        10 X
        Liberal nazis with ideological demensia.

      • borborygmi

        The difference is the Conservatives would do the same thing but demand pay first.

    • Neiman

      Who is calling for tax cuts for the rich?

      The problem with your punishing those that accumulate wealth and redistributing their money to others, is that you most often are hurting those people that produce products, services, jobs and benefits. These hated rich people are the ones that stimulate our economic engine that, you want to cause to pay an ever increasing unfair percentage share of the taxes in this country; and that means less jobs, more part time work, less buying power, more borrowing and etc that drag down our economy.

      Doesn’t it make better sense to reform the tax codes that everyone pays the same amount of taxes per every dollar earned and eliminate the innumerable tax deductions, making a fairer system for everyone? In real dollars into the Treasury, the more wealthy a person becomes the more the gross dollars flow into the government.

      You liberals, as you are doing now, can lead us into being another Greece or worse by your never ending entitlement programs, by taxing the wealthy out of the country and our jobs with them. If you say to me, pretending I run a big business and am doing well financially – “you must pay more in percentage of your income than others,” is that I’ll increase the prices of my services/products, which means the poor and the middle class will have a higher cost of living, meaning a reduction in their real income – causing them to fall further down the economic ladder. I will hire less people, I will have more part time labor – escaping Obamacare, demand more from all employees; saving my capital to defend me and my company from more taxes and regulations you will impose; and if you drive me out of business, I’ll have that capital so me and my family can live well in retirement. Doesn’t that make sense to you that I will protect myself and that the poor and middle class will suffer for your punishing me?

      Our only hope is that the people we elect will act wisely, that we will not punish those people that create jobs, by competition drive down prices and whom pay most of the national taxes in real dollars already.

      • Gern Blasnton

        Mighty Quinn doesn’t listen to logic. He/she’s all about perpetuating hate and class warfare. Never any suggestions for cures – just hateful blather about the ‘evils’ of conservative ideas. Would love to he him/her defend Obama’s policies for improving the economy – whatever they might be. But that is not his/her point. instead it is only to whine about conservative ideas. Just like his/her cohorts in the Senate. republican budget is so bad we’re not going to offer one of our own because the Republicans won’t like it anyway. That’s called bi-partisanship, I guess. Do it our way or you’re not cooperating. Whiney, piss-ant little children, and Mikey Quinn fits in amoung them.

  • ndconservative

    The R’s have got to get away from supporting tax cuts for the wealthy as Bill Kristol recently aluded to. It is too easy (and popular) for the Dems to demonize us for this and this is the main reason we lose elections.

    • Roy_Bean

      This is why they always win. Redistribution of wealth is a cornerstone of socialism and now conservatives are starting to say that we have to redistribute just a little, but only from the rich.

      • ndconservative

        For every dollar of tax increases there should be two to three dollars of spending cuts. Do this and then stop increasing the debt limit as House R’s are always so willing to do.

        • BadgerFan82

          You have it right, nd. And they were offered 6 to 1 cuts to increased taxes last year, and turned it down. At some point, pure ideology needs to give way to some concessions, or we end up with fun fiscal cliffs.


    • Mike Quinn

      Wow, a Republican that opened the window and looked outside. God bless you

      • Gern Blanston

        So DO you have any solutions, or are you just a whiney piss-any little child? Oh, wait – sorry – “tax the rich more” – that will solve all of our problems. Why, just look at Greece…or California.

  • sbark

    We’ve compromised to the Lefts advantage for over 70 yrs….since FDR started us down this path of being able to vote for money to be handed to you…….
    The Free Stuff bunch now flipped the votes totally………it will now only accelerate, mother market will have to cure the symptoms of liberalism, the hard way. The Post addiction withdrawal pains will have society looking like everyone is on bath salts.

    • $8194357

      2 tru 4 marxist skool

  • Neiman

    A poll fairly near the just past election cycle says that the people are inclined towards single party rule to end all the partisan bickering and stalemates in Congress. Granted they have not thought out the implications of such a Parliamentary system, but it does say a lot about their views on the current feckless, paralyzed nature of Congress.

    There remains a very grave danger to the GOP if they are not wise; and the past two election cycles have a lot to say about the lack of wisdom in the GOP today. If the House seems to just block the Democrats and Lord Obama’s programs, they will quickly get labeled obstructionists, it will sell because the Democrats will get that message out immediately and loudly with MSM help and could lose control of the House in two years and lose more power in the Senate. It requires compromise by the GOP, or if you will, at least a very strong appearance of a bipartisan spirit. Obama is a king now, he can dictate much of what happens, already establishing new government regulations at a pace of 68 per day or 24,280 year, which is a dictatorship.

    I have said for a long time that the problem is one of communications, an ability/talent that escapes the GOP, they do not know how to craft and communicate their policies, they are stubbornly unwilling to learn; and improve their ability to communicate their actions in human terms, which is a great deal why we lost the election. The slut vote (young single women), voted mostly for Obama over reproductive rights. They allowed the Democrats to sell the idea the GOP would take away those rights and the flat footed, accountant mentality of the GOP were unable to anticipate that attack plan and once launched, to counter it with sufficient reassurances that the GOP was not engaged in a war against women. In every area of life it is like this, the Democrats sold the idea the GOP would throw grandma and the poor off the cliff and the GOP was to damn snooty and self-righteous to launch a major counter-offensive. The point of all this being, the GOP has to hire the best Madison Avenue communication experts to help them manage the message in this next Congress and score some wins supported by the people, or the GOP better look for a blood bath in 2014.

    • WOOF

      “The slut vote (young single women)”
      Neiman your misogynist words brand you Republican Poster Boy.
      You say things like that amongst women ?
      That attitude cost at least two senate seats this cycle..

    • WOOF

      “The slut vote (young single women)” Neiman the Poster Boy for Republican misogyny that cost Rs at least two senate seats. Do you speak that way around women N?

      • Neiman

        It was a funny take-off on Limbaugh’s naughty, but very accurate words about such young ladies. But, if they are voting based mainly on free contraception so they can screw around outside of marriage without fear and voted for free abortions, truthfully they are much worse than sluts. You know wolf man, just because society changes and accepts sexually active
        women, well including young men for that matter, societal changes don’t
        make the old labels less truthful and descriptive. It remains wrong for a host of reasons to engage in sexual relations outside the marriage bed, which can only be made right by a marriage under God.

        To be a misogynist, I would have to apply it to all women, but I used it mostly humorously, about the sexually active young altar maidens voting Obama. Liberals have no sense of humor, except in pushing ugly women into leadership positions.

        By the way, it is only liberals that think winning is everything, to them it trumps morals, decency, honor and faith; it is win no matter the costs, it is all about power and you are just a dumb disciple that they will get rid of for the least cause.

        • WOOF

          Denigrating and salaciously libeling women is not humor.
          Lots of men have that problem.
          Republicans think it’s a winning political platform.

          • WillieB

            You must have missed Ed Schultz and Bill Maher denigrating and salaciously libeling women.
            You ignorant moron.

          • Neiman

            Nothing is funny to liberals anymore, because you liberal jackasses see everyone as being a victim (except conservatives), needing new laws to protect them against being offended and more money to help them get through the pain. In other words stupid, your side discovered there are votes in making nothing funny anymore.

            Let me ask you, is it still denigrating if it’s true? Is it denigrating to call a rapist a rapist, a drug addict and drug addict, etc? Why do these young single women demand laws that we give them free birth control, so they can remain virgins or faithful to their spouses? Why do they demand we pay for their abortions, because they plan of not murdering their little mistakes after fornicating? Is a young single woman that sleeps around and needs free birth control a candidate for sainthood? What about this definition of slut is offensive: A person, especially a woman, considered sexually promiscuous, especially if she is promiscuous and wants free birth control?

            No Republicans do not think it is a winning issue at all, they mostly object to anyone using such terminology, because they know, like Democrats that, it pisses women off and loses them votes, which is why America is in the moral sewer. People want to acting like rutting swine in every part of their lives and don’t want the names and sense of shame that historically always accompanies such wicked conduct.

    • BadgerFan82


      I agree with you on this. Also, saying that your top priority is to make the president a one-term president rather than, say, doing anything that is actually the job of Congress, might make it easier for the Republicans to dodge claims of obstructionism.

  • SigFan

    Bipartisanship in the pursuit of national suicide is not noble, it is lunacy. Some things can be compromised, but truth is not one of them. And the truth is that the policies and goals of the left have failed every time and in every place they’ve been implemented. I for one (and I’m not alone) am not interested in letting the left try to perfect their flawed ideology on us.

    • $8194357


  • Dakotacyr

    The voters did not cast their ballots for the status quo. I know that it your talking point but I think if you look at the numbers, democrats got more votes in the House races tha t the Rs did, but because of redistricting, there was only a pick up of 11 seats. But make no mistake the citizens did not vote for the status quo. Not at all.

    • Onslaught1066

      True, they voted for Santa Claus.

      Hmm, Dakotamooch, has a distinctive ring, does it not?

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      Right. Nothing changed significantly, but sure. Whatever you want to believe.

  • Harold

    Anything republicans agree with Obama on will be used against them later if Obama’s idea’s passed into law don’t pan out so well. Either way participation or non participation the repubs will get the blame for all the failures that Obama gets them to help pass into laws of the land.

  • Waski_the_Squirrel

    One of the great things about 2 party government is that the parties get in each others’ way and prevent too much action. So far I haven’t been impressed with government when either party had total control. Republicans may pay lip service to smaller government, but the reality is they want it just as big as Democrats do, just in different areas.

    Although I didn’t vote for Obama, I am pleased to have a Republican House and Democrat president. I wish the Senate were also Republican. It’s a good thing if neither party can accomplish its goals. I remember when Clinton had to work with a Republican congress. That was a good period in government because the excesses on either side got (mostly) cancelled out.

    • BadgerFan82

      That is truly the one good thing about a two party system (as opposed to a three or more party system, which provides even more checks with less pure deadlock). Unfortunately, there has been a consistent move to the extremes by both sides, and those who even dare to discuss real compromise are driven out during the primaries, primarily on the Republican side, though probably on the Dems side as well. If either side continues to start “negotiations” with their final offer and refuses to budge, nothing will be accomplished.

  • $8194357

    Barrys muslim brotherhood budies in Egypt want to destroy Egypts past historical monuments to false gods other than allah…go figure huh..Arab spring is becoming arab winter. We are as always one generation away from losing “freedom”..



    Lefties pooh-poohed the idea that the new rulers
    would ever destroy the pyramids and Sphinx…

    Now that Egypt is run by radical (Muslim Brotherhood)
    Islamists and the calls for sharia law get louder everyday, can the destruction
    of all pre-Islamic symbols of a formerly advanced civilization be far behind?
    And with them, Egypt’s only profitable industry – tourism?

    al-Arabiya An Egyptian jihad leader, with self-professed links to the Taliban, who was jailed twice by Hosni Mubarak for terrorist threats, called for the “destruction of the Sphinx and the Giza Pyramids in Egypt,” drawing ties between the Egyptian relics and Buddha statues, local media reported this week.

    End quote

    Middle east end game for Israels destruction
    sponsered by the UN and team Barry…

  • chris

    I’d sure like to see how we’re going to fix the fiscal cliff problem without bipartisanship.