The Fantasy of Bipartisanship
by Bob H, Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 05:29:56 AM EST
Close observation of the Republican Party over the last 15 years had lead me to be very skeptical that they can be fruitfully engaged on a bipartisan basis. It is delusional and perhaps dangerous to Democratic prospects to proceed on the expectaton that a candidate can "bring people together", "bridge our differences", or win over the other side to "transformational change". Transformational change can come only when Republican numbers in the Congress are reduced to levels where they have been forced to change or become irrelevant.
Though there was a mandate for change in 1992, the Republicans set about at once to destroy the Clinton Presidency through a series of manufactured "scandals", gays in the military, Whitewater, Travelgate, etc. I wonder how many of the young Democratic enthusiasts for bipartisanship were children then and not paying attention to politics.
Did the Republicans respect the clear mandate of the 2006 elections? Will Mitch McConnell and the DC enforcers of Republican doctrinal purity like George Will, William Kristol, and Grover Norquist pay any attention at all to any such mandate coming out of 2008?
The Congressional Republicans are put there by reactionary States and districts, and will continue in the future to serve their corporate sponsors. They have no compunction at all about damaging our electoral or governmental institutions if it helps them get their way.
They will attempt to destroy the new Democratic President in any way possible. It will be rip-up-the-tracks obstructionism from day one, an abuse of whatever little power is left to them.
I don't care which Democrat wins the Presidency. I wrote this admittedly pessimistic diary because I think our choice for President should be informed by realism about who our opponents really are, and not be overly influenced by wishful thinking about "hope" and "bridging differences". The main consideration in our choice must be who can most effectively wage the combat that is coming before and after the election.