5 Myths about bipartisanship (1 Viewer)

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    Optimus Prime

    Well-known member
    Sep 28, 2019
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    Washington DC Metro
    Interesting article
    No, it wasn’t the norm throughout U.S. history.

    It is common for Americans to rue the absence of bipartisanship. Even expressly partisan figures like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Trump have called for more cross-party collaboration.

    Former vice president Joe Biden has said that “no party should have too much power.” And there is even a prestigious think tank, the Bipartisan Policy Center, dedicated to the idea.

    The calls may be nothing new, but they have increased in intensity and volume as our times have become hyper-polarized, rendering bipartisanship the subject of many myths.

    Myth No. 1

    Bipartisanship was the norm through most of U.S. history.

    NPR lamented that Sen. John McCain’s death in 2018 symbolized “the near-extinction of lawmakers who believe in seeking bipartisanship to tackle big problems.”

    A bipartisan pundit duo wrote in the Hill before the 2018 election that bipartisanship had a “strong record of success,” citing President Bill Clinton collaborating with Republicans and President Ronald Reagan working with Democratic House Speaker Tip O’Neill.

    But our history is littered with times when partisan rancor was literally deadly. As historian Joanne Freeman’s “The Field of Blood” points out, disputes between the parties included plenty of violence in Congress in the decades before the Civil War.

    In 1902, a fistfight broke out on the Senate floor when Democratic Sen. Benjamin Tillman was angered that fellow Democrat John McLaurin was even considering siding with Republicans.

    Physical altercations between the parties abated in the 20th century, at least, but partisan conflict has remained the norm. The period from the 1930s into the 1970s, when a “conservative coalition” of Republicans and Southern Democrats worked together to form majorities, is the exception.

    And that bipartisanship was achieved at the cost of preserving and protecting Jim Crow...............

    I think some people say they’re bi-curious but it’s hard to actually live that way.

    I think that getting rid of park barreling and earmarking has polarized Capitol Hill. Members of Congress can no longer “horse trade” votes anymore by offering to fund some pet project in a district to get that member’s vote. Yes, it had some problems, but it was also effective to pass legislation rather than most everything falling purely on a party vote. And it gave members chances to really bring something home to the district rather than just getting cheers or jeers for following identity politics.
    Our system is purposely designed to make it hard to pass laws. Bipartisanship is antithetical with the founding intent.

    Unfortunately, we have allowed a regulatory state to develop AND made it easier to legislate.

    Now we have a huge, powerful bureaucracy intent on self-preservation and both parties are deeply invested in that effort.

    We don't need bipartisanship.

    We need the people to come to the realization that the administrative state and their elected enablers do not have our best interests in mind.

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