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Wed Apr 28, 2021, 01:14 PM

You Don't Actually Need to Reach Across the Aisle, Mr. Biden

You Don’t Actually Need to Reach Across the Aisle, Mr. Biden
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/28/opinion/joe-biden-bipartisanship.html?

President Biden’s first address to a joint session of Congress, on Wednesday night, will be scrutinized to assess his commitment to working with Republicans. There is nothing wrong with reaching across the aisle to seek common ground.

But insisting on bipartisanship — given the major policy divide between the parties on economic recovery, tax reform, climate change and health care — usually guarantees gridlock (which promotes voter cynicism) or actions that are watered down and ineffective (which are condemned by everyone, right and left).

There is nothing wrong with being partisan. Over a century ago, Representative Jacob Fassett, a New York Republican, counseled, “We were all elected by partisans because we were partisans, and as such represented party purposes as expressed by party platforms,” adding that a politician should “have opinions and convictions” and not “be a political chocolate éclair.”

In the decades after World War II, bipartisan policymaking became the norm because the ideological divisions within both parties — for example, there were numerous liberal Republicans who, since Reconstruction, supported civil rights — compelled cross-party alliances. Most issues did not break down ideologically by party. In fact, for much of the 20th century, supporters of political reform, environmentalism and civil rights could be found as easily in the Republican as in the Democratic Party.

A sizable cohort of moderate to liberal Republicans like Jacob Javits, Clifford Case and Mark Hatfield provided the votes to pass progressive legislation. Similarly, during periods of conservative activism, Republicans could reach across the aisle to find conservative Democrats (like “boll weevils”) to help pass their priorities.

But those circumstances no longer exist, and as a result, bipartisanship has become the Sasquatch of American politics: rarely seen but fervently sought. The opportunities for finding cross-party support for significant legislation, except in response to a national calamity, like the Troubled Asset Relief Program for the financial crisis, have evaporated. The parties have fundamentally changed — there are now very few liberal Republicans or conservative Democrats — and that transformation has hollowed out the middle ground of American politics. Continuing to demand bipartisanship as the validator of sound policy is not only fanciful but also self-defeating.

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Reply You Don't Actually Need to Reach Across the Aisle, Mr. Biden (Original post)
dajoki Apr 28 OP
The Magistrate Apr 28 #1
Trailrider1951 Apr 28 #2
LakeArenal Apr 28 #3
soothsayer Apr 28 #4
unblock Apr 28 #5
world wide wally Apr 28 #6

Response to dajoki (Original post)

Wed Apr 28, 2021, 01:17 PM

1. True, Sir

The GQP in Congress needs to reach out to President Biden.

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #1)

Wed Apr 28, 2021, 01:22 PM

2. Yep. Let THEM "reach across the aisle".

I'm so tired of their Lucy with the football act when it comes to doing the country's business. And I suspect that President Biden is as well.

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Response to dajoki (Original post)

Wed Apr 28, 2021, 01:28 PM

3. Biden teaching across the aisle doesn't cause gridlock.

Moscow Mitch and KKKevin MKkKarthy do.

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Response to dajoki (Original post)

Wed Apr 28, 2021, 01:30 PM

4. He invites them to play, they say no, he moves on

He reaches, they rebuff.

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Response to dajoki (Original post)

Wed Apr 28, 2021, 01:35 PM

5. Biden has 60% approval and democrats control the trifecta

Bipartisanship is a way of forging a majority coalition. It's often necessary, and with our thin margins may be needed in the present circumstances.

But it's more of a means to an end, and if you have a majority coalition already, there's not great need to include the minority just for the sake of including them. Only for certain issues that really demand more than a slim majority is that important.


Never mind that republicans never give a crap about bipartisanship when they're in a position to force their idiotic views on the rest of us. When was the last time republicans backed off their lunacy for the sake of including democrats?

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Response to dajoki (Original post)

Wed Apr 28, 2021, 01:49 PM

6. Besides...

We already got Manchin on our own side to obstruct everything Biden wants to get done in the interest of the country.

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