Friday, January 29, 2010

What Bipartisanship Means

For the minority party bipartisanship means being lectured by the President about their rhetoric, scolded for their tactics, and treated as if they alone had party members and supporters who use hyperbole.

In our view, this dressing-down at an event to which Congressional Republicans welcomed the President as a guest is grimly instructive about the President's state of mind. His response to losing is to bitterly complain that he has been demonized by his enemies. He reminds us of Nixon's most undignified moments of whiny, self-righteousness and ersatz martyrdom.


Anonymous said...

Obama seems to think we the people can't think for ourselves. Which I guess is why Scott Brown wrote in the 1/29 WSJ: 'People Aren't Stupid''And leaders should figure out they're better informed now than ever.'


Rob said...

I disagree. It has been my experience that People ARE stupid. OK, stupid may be a bit harsh, but they are certainly not "informed." I would argue that there still exists a majority position of apathy/ignorance. What percentage of Americans do you suppose could tell you what "cap and trade" means? I would also argue that a large number of people who consider themselves informed are really just indoctrinated with political talking points. An informed citizen is able to understand the strengths and weaknesses in both their own positions and the positions of their political opposites. What we have are a bunch of little Glen Becks and Rachel Maddows running around.

Chief Grinder said...

What better place than in the lion's den to express how you really feel? Would SWNID have rather he siad some tired pleasantries in front of the party of no? Surely SWNID is not suggesting that Obama does not have a point and that he has NOT been demonized by his enemies. Tea Party anyone?

Rob said...

SWNID, do you envision there being even a chance of bipartisanship anytime in the near future? I will grant Mr. Grinder the fact that President Obama has been demonized by certain factions of the Right. However, this is not a departure from what former President Bush experienced from certain factions of the Left. This has been caused, to some extent, by conflicting worldviews which are wholly incompatible, i.e. whether or not abortion ends a human life, whether or not healthcare is a human right, etc. However, I think that the biggest contribution to partisanship is that partisanship sells. Or perhaps more accurately, partisanship gets votes.

Tom_KY said...

The President got off the mat and let the Republicans have a taste of their own medicine - AND he was exactly right to boot.

Where is the Republican bill that forces health care firms to make their prices more transparent in the marketplace? Where's the free-market solution that the president doesn't already advocate - interstate competition for example? It's probably in the same trashcan their 19-page-no-numbers-no-solution-JUST-NO economic stimulus package rests.

I hope the Republicans continue with their current strategy. Even the irrational electorate will figure it out by November.

Jon A. Alfred E. Michael J. Wile E. SWNID said...

Commenters, you demonstrate the intractability of partisanship. "You started it" is always a good way to bring people together in harmony. "With malice toward none, with charity for all . . ."

Chicago Jake said...

Obama's healthcare is dying because of 2 things. First, it is bad policy. Second, Obama does not know how to present policy in a way that unites. The latter is a skill developed by exceptional leaders. BHO is in no way an exceptional leader, his lack of leadership skill is showing. If he was skilled, he would have overseen the bill to make it more acceptable with both parties, then promoted it in a way that united and didn't divide. He needs a good course in Leadership 101.

Tom_KY said...

What's partisan about wanting a reform that requires price transparency in the marketplace - much like I get at McDonald's?

I thought that was like a conservative principle of something?

Jon A. Alfred E. Michael J. Wile E. SWNID said...

C'mon, Tom. You know that price transparency is hardly the sticking point. If all that the Ds had offered was price transparency, there would be no problem getting a bill passed. The House and Senate bills mucked up anything positive with a variety of costs and disincentives that would keep the price curve moving in the wrong direction. That's also what makes the present call to bipartisanship so hollow, as if tacking a couple of hundred more pages into that monster would fix the fundamental flaws at the foundation, if a hodgepodge of provisions even has a foundation.

All the best ideas have been laid out pretty clearly. Wyden-Bennett was always a better starting point than anything that came from a House or Senate committee, Whole Foods has shown a complementary way forward, and incremental change to bring the consumer into the cost equation, like what Dubya proposed in 2005, would have been better still. When Obama decries serious proposals like these because they "won't work," he's simply insisting that the ocean be boiled instantly, underlining the grandiosity of his approach from the get-go.

But your response does seem to demonstrate that BHO's rhetoric has served its purpose: to fire up the loyal Democratic base.