We’re hearing a lot about “bipartisanship” and “post-partisanship” and “working together despite disagreements” (like, oh, say, the little tiff we’re having over whether gays are nasty incestuous pedophiles or decent people who should be allowed to suffer marriage just like heteros). We’re hearing it mostly from Republicons who think they can get their way with the new administration and, of course, Obama. The “Kumbaya” singing is notably lacking when it comes to folks like Rep. Jon Kyl and other leading Con lights whose raison d’etre is to fuck up a Democrat’s day whilst raiding a blue collar worker’s pension fund.
Digby’s take on the situation refreshed me like a pleasant morning breeze:
Those of you who read this blog regularly know that I think Americans are probably not destined to all come together in comity and good will to work toward the common good any time soon. And you also know that I don’t think there’s anything especially wrong with that. If politics is war by other means then that’s the way things are supposed to work.
As Ezra says, it’s not enough that everyone has their views “respected” in any case. I don’t even know what that means when it comes to fundamental issues of freedom, liberty, faith, duty etc. Of course I respect everyone’s right to their beliefs and I will fight the proverbial fight for them to be allowed to express them. But I don’t have to respect every view that comes down the pike and I certainly don’t have to willingly make room in my political coalition for people to enact their agenda if it goes against what I believe in. Why would anyone think I should?
The truth is that it’s disrespectful to sincere people on all sides to suggest their disagreements are so shallow that they can be dealt with by pretending that all we need to do is proclaim that we respect one another. Even if you respect someone, sometimes there’s no avoiding a fight.
Exactly so. That’s precisely the problem, and why this reaching out to homophobic fucknuggets like Rick Warren is so damned odious to me.
Believe it or not, economist Paul Krugman has a little something to say on the subject as well:
Guest host Chip Reid asks Krugman if the recession is actually a blessing in disguise, because it opens the door for a 21st Century New Deal. Krugman agrees, but only if we let go of the myth of “bipartisan agreement”:
He’s [..] not going to get bipartisan consensus. He may be able to get some moderate Republicans votes. He may be able to get the moderate Republicans in the Senate – both of them — to go…vote with the Democrats. The point is, you look at what John Boehner is doing in the House right now, the House Republican Leader. He’s dead set against doing anything constructive right now. He’s actually soliciting on his website, saying if there are any credentialed economists who are willing to you know, say negative things about stimulus plans, please contact me. So no, it’s not going to be bipartisan, in the sense that leaders of both parties are going to get together. Reaching out across the aisle, trying to find some sensible people on the Republican side is not the same thing.
I find it hilarious that after all of the petty partisanship of the last eight years that somehow it’s incumbent upon the Democrats to be the grown-ups in Washington and reach across the aisle. Where was all the talk in the media circles of bipartisanship for the last eight years? Is it that the media knows that Republicans aren’t mature enough to do so? And where, in all their history, have the Republicans shown themselves to be able to do anything for the good of the country instead of their party, as Krugman so aptly describes?
Krugman is dead on right. There will be no bipartisan consensus. The Republicans’ agenda will be to obstruct and hobble as much of the Obama plans as possible to regain the majority in 2010 with the argument that the Democrats couldn’t do anything. Boehner has all but admitted it. So let’s let go of the notion of “bipartisanship” and get the majorities necessary to get things done.
All too true. And I love how despairing Krugman sounds when he talks of “trying to find some sensible people” among the Cons.
The truth is that the sensible Republicans have pretty much been booted out. What we’ve got left to work with is a bunch of posturing, histrionic, fucktarded loons.
That doesn’t exactly make for ideal bipartisan efforts, now, does it? It’s good to see folks who realize that. I think Obama does, too, but he’s going to try to force the other side to break the “truce,” and if he’s more skilled than previous Dems, he’ll be able to make that blow up in the Cons’ faces for once. Which would be delightful.