"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Monday, December 31, 2007


Here is an excellent piece by Matt Stoller that nails the "bipartisanship" mantra right to the wall.

As Chris Bowers and Matthew Yglesias among many others have pointed out, what this bipartisanship is really about is undermining the public's ability to participate in policy-making. . . .

Clearly, we are dealing with an extremely conservative set of decision-makers in DC within both parties and a public that is completely cut out of the process. That is bipartisanship, by the numbers. The vote authorizing the war in Iraq was a bipartisan vote, and partisanship would have stopped it. Five years later, wiretapping authority has been expanded and legalized by a bipartisan majority; partisanship would have stopped it. The Military Commissions Act which destroyed habeas corpus and legalized torture passed by a bipartisan vote; partisanship would have stopped it. Every attempt to reign in the national security authoritarian state has been beaten back by a bipartisan majority; partisanship would have pushed to roll it back. In fact, if we could just get Democrats to consistently vote the way the public would like on issue after issue, this would be a progressive country. Partisanship in other words would mean a progressive country responsive to the public, and bipartisanship means an authoritarian country where the public is cut out.

The idea of the Village elders running the country is becoming more and more obvious, if you read the likes of Broder, Brooks, Sullivan, et al. will any regularity: this is their stance, because it's their turf. It is, of course, essentially a Republican idea, and always has been, at least as party ideologies have been constituted for the past century.

Bipartisanship is an operating paradigm is nothing more than a shell game. Here's Digby's analysis:

It was inevitable. I wrote about it right after the 2006 election --- as soon as the Republicans lost power, I knew the gasbags would insist that it's time to let bygones be bygones and meet the Republicans halfway in the spirit of a new beginning. GOP politicians have driven the debt sky-high and altered the government so as to be nearly unrecognizable, so logically the Democrats need to extend the hand of conciliation and move to meet them in the middle --- the middle now being so far right, it isn't even fully visible anymore.

Today we have none other than the centrist drivel king, David Broder, reporting that a group of useless meddlers, most of whom who were last seen repeatedly stabbing Bill Clinton in the back, are rising from their crypts to demand that the candidates all promise to appoint a "unity" government and govern from the the center --- or else they will back an independent Bloomberg bid.
Boren said the meeting is being announced in advance of Thursday's Iowa caucuses "because we don't want anyone to think this was a response to any particular candidate or candidates." He said the nation needs a "government of national unity" to overcome its partisan divisions in a time of national challenge he likened to that faced by Great Britain during World War II.

"Electing a president based solely on the platform or promises of one party is not adequate for this time," Boren said. "Until you end the polarization and have bipartisanship, nothing else matters, because one party simply will block the other from acting."

Except the one party is called the Republican Party. When was the last time the Democrats blocked anything?

I don't really have anything to add to that. It's a pathetically self-serving in-group tactic to maintain power in the hands of those who are "qualified" to wield it. That anyone with eyes can see that they've been wrong consistently for years doesn't penetrate because they never look outside their own small circle of mutual back-strokers.

These people really disgust me.

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