The trap of 'bipartisanship'

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The trap of 'bipartisanship'

nov. 19, 2020, 1:08pm

End the odes to political 'civility'. Do you really think Republicans will reciprocate?

... Biden, committed to re-establishing “normalcy”, will probably rejoice at the prospect of returning to the good old days of chummy bipartisanship. Dianne Feinstein already gave a preview, when she thanked Lindsey Graham for his “leadership” in the plainly illegitimate Amy Coney Barrett confirmation process and literally embraced one of Trump’s worst lackeys. ...

Here’s the problem, however: “working across the aisle” is not an ideal in itself. If we expect politics to look like an impartial pursuit of the common good or think that there will be consensus if we all follow the rules, as the neoconservative writer Anne Applebaum has suggested, then we are bound to be disappointed over and over. Rather, we must learn to distinguish between democratic and undemocratic forms of political conflict – and properly sanction those engaged in the latter. ...

Polarization isn’t an objectively given reality; it’s a rightwing political project and, not least, it’s big business – just look at the talk radio millionaires. Rightwing populists deepen divisions and reduce all policy questions to questions of cultural belonging. ...

Fierce partisanship is not in itself a symptom of politics gone wrong. ...

Fair partisan fights can restore democracy, not kitschy appeals to unity and bipartisanship. ...

nov. 19, 2020, 1:27pm

I take your point. And you may be right about bipartisanship.

If this election has shown us anything other than the right is well and truly around the bend, it’s shown that getting the vote out, at every level from City Council to the Presidency, is critical.

Starting now.

nov. 19, 2020, 1:40pm

It's how republicans continually play the democrats in the Senate particularly for chumps....and I've heard democratic Senators down through the years continually bring up how the Senate is one big happy exclusive membership club. That when they're not on the floor they all get along fine and dandy--go out to eat together or to the movies or the opera. Well for the most part they're elites anyway.

As for Feinstein watching her go off on a bunch of high school kids brought along to meet her by the Sunrise Movement a couple years ago was pretty instructive. She got really mad at like 14/15 year olds when one of them brought up how they would have to live their lives with all the negative environmental implications that this generation was going to leave them. Hopefully she retires and doesn't run again.

nov. 19, 2020, 1:51pm

Yeah, I remember that, what a disgraceful performance.

American politics are in a limbo.

Editat: nov. 19, 2020, 2:11pm


Never mind your "worries" over the dangers of "bi-partisanship." That's dead now. There's no more bi-partisanship--not even the fake, pseudo-two-party kind, and still less the genuine sort.

Poll your own readers: ask them

1) if law courts, ruling on questions of material fact, determine that in numerous states the evidence presented in court shows clearly a pattern of unmistakable voter, ballot, and other forms of election rigging fraud which was overwhelmingly done by and for the benefit of Democrat party candidates, including, above all, Biden and Harris, but not limited to them--and, on that basis, these votes are struck off, invalidated, and, as a consequence, the election produces a victory for Trump and other "down-ballot" Republicans, SHALL THOSE---WHETHER PRESS ORGS. OR SIMPLE PRIVATE CITIZENS-- WHICH OR WHO, UP TO THIS POINT, HAVE REMAINED ADAMANTLY CONVINCED THAT BIDEN/HARRIS WON-- ACTUALLY RELENT AND ACCEPT THE COURTS' FINDINGS?

What, very seriously and honestly, is the chance of that happening, assuming, for the sake of discussion the hypotheticals above, which follow the "if..."?

You know damn well the answer is "absolutely none."

"Bi-partisanship", my ass! Bi-partisanship is the one thing U.S. Americans needn't spend a moment's further "worry" over--not in a natural lifetime of any man, woman or child, however young, now living.

You crack my shit up!!!!! LOL!!!!!!!!!!!

2) Watch and listen to just why and how that came to be:

Trump Legal Team Outlines Election Fraud Allegations

( NOTE to Trump-supporters: Skip ahead approx. 58 mins. into the feed. Giuliani kept these press clowns waiting that long before appearing and getting started. LOL!!!!!!!!!!!! )

SPECIAL NOTE to BIDEN/HARRIS supporters: be sure not to miss the best, most exciting part of the press conference--all in the first 58 mins. or so of the feed. Enjoy!!!!!!!!!!!!


"American politics are in a limbo."

"Limbo"!?!?!?! LMFAO!!!!!

You're going to pine for something as balm-ful as "limbo."

nov. 19, 2020, 1:58pm

How does this work out in a best-case 2021 scenario? If we manage to take both GA senate seats, which is not impossible, then you've got a 50/50 split and a Harris tiebreaker. At that point, if Democrats do not manage to bring some of the more liberal Republicans on board for some of their efforts then those efforts are hostage to the most rightward Democrat. It seems to me that this makes Democratic endeavors more fragile and likely to fail, but playing to the more left-leaning Republicans like Romney, Murkowski, and Collins can make those endeavors more resilient.

And if we miss one or both seats, then it's even more stark: without Republican participation, nothing will happen at all, but getting two of those Liberal Three to stand up to McConnell would allow the Senate to actually function.

It doesn't seem to me that there's any case for jettisoning bipartisanship when you're looking at these possible situations. Tactically speaking, this seems like a losing approach if the goal is to actually pass some legislation to help improve things for Americans.

If passing legislation to help improve things for Americans is not the goal, I suppose I'd like to know what are the win conditions that we're targeting.

nov. 19, 2020, 2:13pm

>5 proximity1: if law courts, ruling on questions of material fact, determine that in numerous states the evidence presented in court shows clearly a pattern of unmistakable voter, ballot, and other forms of election rigging fraud which was overwhelmingly done by and for the benefit of Democrat party candidates

That's a big "if" given that so far almost all the courts have ruled against these allegations and in favour of the Democrat position.

nov. 19, 2020, 4:37pm

>7 John5918: Yes, currently 25 to 1.

And Mr. Giuliani said in court that the case he was pressing wasn’t about fraud. People do cling to their delusions, don’t they?

However, let’s turn it around:

If the courts continue to find no pattern of unmistakable election rigging fraud which was overwhelmingly done by and for the benefit of Democratic Party candidates , will those who have pressed this issue (or these issues, if you prefer) and said that the election was stolen—will they actually relent and accept the court’s findings?

Editat: nov. 19, 2020, 4:42pm

>6 kiparsky: I’m not sure of the OP’s exact intent, but speaking for myself, I don’t think the Dems have any power to go to a scorched earth scenario.

I’m gravely concerned about the probable willingness of any Repubs to compromise. Collins is at best a very weak read who perpetually caves to Repub pressure.

Perhaps the other two will see reason, especially with that rascal Mr. Trump gone from the WH.

nov. 19, 2020, 5:19pm

>6 kiparsky: While passing legislation to improve things for Americans is the goal, I can't think of any improvements that would get Republican support. Maybe infrastructure, but Republicans won't raise taxes and will insist on cutting some program that Democrats like to pay for it so I don't see any possibility of compromise there.

And even if you could get the moderate Republicans to go along on something there's no chance that with McConnell in charge that he would allow it to get a vote.

Editat: nov. 19, 2020, 6:09pm

#6--that best case scenario is very reliant on Joe Manchin, Kyrsten Sinema and Jon Ossoff. Manchin is one of those 'I believe in bipartisanship' stalwarts and both he and Ossoff are on record for not wanting to expand the Supreme Court and Manchin is against killing the filibuster and Ossoff hasn't made up his mind on that but just even one would effectively take it out of the hands of Kamala Harris to be a deciding vote.

It's better that the democrats win both seats and Mitch is no longer Senate leader but all in all I don't see a lot of progress being made by a Senate controlled by a democrat party leader because of all the above. Holding their own 50 votes together is going to be very hard as it is.

nov. 19, 2020, 8:22pm

The predicament of the US is that the political system is geared toward maintaining the plutocratic white supremacist conservative class in power*, whereas that class's party--i.e. agenda--has lost popular support long ago. So the Republicans, with their base eroding, played ever dirtier, until they jumped off the fascist cliff with Trump. But... the Democrats still can't use the power that accrues to them as to the more popular party, because the brakes constructed to prevent representation of the people's interests still function.

But the Republican-Democrat seesaw can't continue oscillating as before.

You can invade any number of countries yet, bleeding away your poor. That won't help with the fact of growing impoverishment and imperilment of life in the US. The inequalities will continue. The need of the people will become more dire. Obamas and Bidens won't help any to answer that need decisively. "Not-being-Trump" won't suffice; it's not even a beginning of positive changes, just a pre-condition.

*American Democracy Was Never Supposed to Work

... Merely ousting Trump is not enough without addressing more fundamental weaknesses in our political system, especially an outdated Constitution that continues to serve a minority of wealthy and white citizens and to curb any movements that might threaten their wealth and power. The antidemocratic Senate, for example, is the main obstacle to passing serious legislation on climate change. Without a practical plan for revising the Constitution, Democrats will be condemned to play by rigged rules. ...

More than a new president, we need a radical reimagining of what this country can and must become—nothing less than a full-scale attempt at national renewal.

I get that Biden's administration will be hampered in what it will do or try to do--but what the Democrats could and ought to do without the obstacle/excuse of Republican obstruction is precisely this re-imagining of the system.

The Republicans did their bit of re-imagining by enabling and abetting Trumpism. It's scandalous that ten years after the Tea Party the Democrats haven't come up with an adequate response. Four years from now Trumpism will still exist as a political option Americans have consecrated with significant support; what will exist on the Democratic side?

"Not Trump" is a mere pre-condition of civilised politics; it is not creative, not constructive, not a programme.

Biden may have an excuse why he won't achieve anything but he does not have an excuse for not even formulating the radical change his party and the US desperately need.

nov. 19, 2020, 9:03pm

#12--it's ridiculous having to live up to a bunch of outdated 18th century standards. The fucking founders (if I may) if they weren't flawed human beings like the centuries of human beings before and after them. So that we're supposed to take their visions and ideas of how things are supposed to be and never look any farther. None of them were black, brown, red, yellow or female, no LGBTQ people--even on religious and ethnic lines they are very, very narrow in scope. It's not necessarily to tear them all into shreds for living in another time with so many different morals and values and trying to create something out of nothing but as a group they'd be completely unrepresentative of the world we live in today and their solutions to things were solutions for their horse and buggy times and more often than not are objectionable now. We're living an entirely different existence than they did.

des. 18, 2020, 10:33pm

It's frustrating, but there it is: one of America's comics provides better commentary on its politics than 99% of the "real" journalists do.

Seth Meyer on the "bipartisan" bullshit:

Trump Threatens Not to Leave White House on Inauguration Day: A Closer Look

Editat: des. 18, 2020, 10:50pm

AOC comments in the same vein, about the danger of the Democrats going even farther right--(link starts at her segment):

Top U.S. & World Headlines — December 18, 2020

des. 19, 2020, 1:37am

#15--the triumvirate--Pelosi, Hoyer, Clyburn leading the House democrats are all 80 years old or over. They've all been in congress for decades and they're all locked more or less into the Bill Clinton neo-liberal corporate friendly mindset. At this point in their lives IMO they're main concern is legacy protecting. That's why we see them always doubling down on failed economic policies and shit like the ACA. Could also mention that there are numerous deficit hawks in the democratic party and in a Covid economy IMO that is dangerous. Having Joe Manchin and Mark Warner negotiating the stimulus with Senate republicans is a case in point--their last concerns about actual financial relief reaching all the way to the population--they basically allowed that to be negotiated away and then huffed and puffed when Bernie Sanders and Josh Hawley fought them on that. Too many of these Senators on both sides of the aisle have austerity on their minds as the solution of how to fix the economy. They're all in though when it comes to serving their corporate donors.