Friday, September 14, 2007
Bipartisanship does not work no matter how desperately David Broder believes in it. Like Santa Claus, it's a nice fantasy, but eventually you grow out of the immature concept.
Health care is a mess in this country, the environment is fouled, energy policy is a joke, the war is a disaster, the economy is not benefitting the middle class, we are swimming in debt. All of thse problems have been created on a bipartisan basis.
Many times Bush has barked, and peeled off enough Broder democrats to move along his agenda.
Take energy policy. A sane policy would be to do a Marshall Plan, or a WPA type program to clean the air, switch to alternative fuels and dramatically boost research in R&D to get us there.
Even rabid conservatives would agree that it would be a good thing to not rely on the middle east for oil. As much as they are prone to hate liberals and want to pollute just to piss a democrat off, there is a clear majority in this country who would rally behind such an effort.
It doesn't happen.
49% of Republicans want universal health care coverage. It doesn't happen.
When 70% of the country wants us out of Iraq, your Broders tell us that the bipartisan solution is to give President Bush what he wants.
Bipartisanship has been turned into a foul word that means letting the powers that be continue to do things for their benefit that are against the interests and expressed opinions of the majority of the country.
Bipartisanship is a way to crush small d democracy. There is the old saying that democracy is 2 wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner. In practice, it doesn't work out that way. It is 20 wolves convincing 5,000 sheep that mutton is a good option.
Health care does not work for the vast majority of the population. Close to 18% are uninsured, a larger chunk is underinsured, and there are people struggling to make their premiums who are one illness away from being out of work, trying to figure out how to afford the COBRA payments, and ripe for bankruptcy. Yet, nothing much is done.
Bipartisanship. The health industry has bought most of the Republicans, and enough of the democrats to make sure the needs of the people are ignored in the name of profit, and campaign contributions.
At a time when credit card companies were raking in record profits, Joe Biden and other democrats being "bipartisan" made it harder to file, even though the majority of those who file do so due to medical crises.
It all ties together.
With less "bipartisanship" the choices are clearer for the people to make. Do you want to be in Iraq, or out? Do you want to change our energy policy, or not? Do you want universal health coverage, or the system we have in place?
All of these disasters in policy can be layed down to the fact that there is too much compromise to not get something half way done, but to ensure no real reform takes place.
Compromise might be a better word. I could totally respect a compromise that stated all unemployed and their children would be given access to health care. Those who work need to pay for their own. That would be a middle ground. It doesn't go far enough for my taste, but it's a step in the right direction.
I could respect a compromise that stated we will devote a moderate amount of money to R&D for clean energy research and boost tax credits for those who switch over. We will phase into LED and CFL lightbulbs over several years, then banning incandescents. It doesn't go far enough, but it's a healthy compromise.
I could respect a compromise that stated we will leave Iraq in one year. We are giving the Iraqi government time and warning about when we will leave. We will have a detailed plan on what they need to do to stand up to take our place. I want out now, but this would be a compromise.
Instead, we have bipartisanship.
Posted by trifecta at 11:49 AM