Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Partisanship Smartisanship

Wouldn't this be nice!?
In the face of an economy in crisis and a deeply unpopular president, some analysts believe the situation is ripe to give Democrats a 60-seat filibuster-proof majority in the Senate in November... The last time either party had this ability was in the 95th Congress of 1977-1979, when Democrats held 61 seats during President Jimmy Carter's administration... "The fundamentals of this election year could not be more Democratic...You've got a terrible economy, a deeply unpopular president and an unpopular war. You put those elements together and it's going to produce a Democratic victory. ... The only question is, what size?"
What a wonderful prospect!

Let me take a moment to make a radical statement that any self-respecting person with a poli-sci background or even a lukewarm interest in politics would be crazy not to refute (but which I feel down to the core of my "soul" anyway):
I do not believe in bi-partisanship.

Sure, it's a warm-fuzzy ideal that conjures up images of sweaty, cooperatin' hands joined together in lusty commitment to the public good - and as someone who ultimately wants "the greatest good for the greatest number," I feel that dream... really I do.

The problem is that I don't believe bi-partisanship works for those issues I hold nearest and dearest to my heart, such as abortion/reproductive freedom in general, secularism, equal-pay for equal work, discrimination in all its nasty forms, climate change, equal access to education and health care... you get the point. Namely, I'm talking about those societal problems which require truly progressive, liberal policies to achieve what I (and NOW, the ACLU, Green Peace, insert liberal organization name here) believe is the greatest good.

In fact, I think this attitude can be captured by a short and sweet bumper-sticker phrase I'm going to coin - I don't brake for bigots! - in the sense that bigoted (re: conservative) positions on social issues should not be accommodated as part of some "give and take"/compromise/bullshit method of fashioning critical policy.

That is all.

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