Saturday, February 14, 2009


In thinking it over, I don't agree with Atrios on this.
I don't have a problem with Republicans who, on balance, wanted the bill to pass but still voted against it. I don't really think it's “cowardice” or whatever, they're simply making it clear that they're the opposition party. And that's a good thing!
I don't think it's cowardice either. It takes balls to be that tone deaf and wilfully vote against a bill that polls with majority support. But I don't think it's a good thing they voted against it simply to express party unity.

Steve Benen posts similar thoughts to Atrios, saying that's how the system is supposed to work. I'm thinking that's what wrong with it. I've got nothing against principled oppostion, but if you know the bill is good and you want it to pass, then vote for it. Opposition simply for the sake of establishing rigid ideological solidarity strikes me as a bad thing.

I suppose it's inevitable in a two party system, but it's unhelpful in terms of working for common goals. Clearly, we need more parties to change that dynamic. I wish somebody could figure out how to build some.

[More posts daily at The Detroit News.]

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Anonymous Laura said...

I wish I could write the comment on this bill that I write on many students' papers: the world is not black and white, it is gray. What is this "with us or against us" mentality. Is it possible that they think they hold all good ideas or are the only valid position? Seriously, let's grow up and stop bullying everyone and start treating everyone as worthy. It's not about the votes--it's about the future. Sheesh.

10:32:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Exactly Laura. Nothing wrong with friendly advesarial relationships. It's fine to disagree on principle, or even on ideology, but it's the opposition for purely political reasons that I think isn't healthy.

10:44:00 PM  
Blogger Constitutionally Speaking said...


For once you and I agree. It should NOT come down to which party you belong to.

I am sure that some of this is exactly that, but I also think that most of it IS the Republicans "getting the message" that their spendthrift ways were not going to be tolerated any more.

I hope you realize that when I opposed spending of the stimulus plan, it was with the same vigor I opposed the spending of the previous administration.

I view this as not just bad economics, but also as a usurpation of the individuals' sovereignty.

1:55:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

CS! I should have read this comment before I asked the question above. I thought that was you. Funny you had to come over to my place to find a point of agreement.

2:10:00 PM  
Blogger (O)CT(O)PUS said...

Libby, what is different this time, now that power has changed in Washington?

What we lost during the Bush/Cheney years is the tradition of compromise and consensus. Far right conservatives boasted arrogantly about making liberals irrelevant to the process, and bipartisanship dipped to zero.

In addition, the Republican Party lost moderates and traditional conservatives seats to Democrats in recent elections; and the result is a party far more hardcore than it used to be.

These same far right wingers now refuse to accept their newfound minority status and are adopting a strategy of obstruction at all costs.

I believe there is a paradigm shift in the making. The labels “conservative” and “liberal” have lost their original meaning. When traditional conservatives lose seats or are driven out of the Republican Party and forced to join forces with Democrats, it tells you something about the drift of the GOP amidst changing attitudes of the electorate.

These hardcore wingers are vocal, dissembling, resentful, and angry. I just hope they remain peaceful, but I have my doubts. In any event, I have no sympathy for them.

3:51:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

I don't have any sympathy for this bunch of cretins and thugs either 8pus. I just wish opposition was based on principle and not on party considerations at all. And I really don't think it will be better if the GOP dies altogether and we're left with only one party. I want them to reform instead of committing suicide.

Which is not to say there isn't some part of me that feels the schadenfreude, watching the slowmo implosion. In it's current incarnation, it does deserve to die.

4:57:00 PM  
Blogger (O)CT(O)PUS said...

Libby, I want to share this with you. There is a friend and colleague who visits us in the Zone, named TAO. He left this comment in response to one of mine:

Octopus, my interest in politics died way back in the 80's but while going through some boxes a few months ago I found a paper I wrote in 1981 about how the Reagan Revolution was actually going to flip the traditional concepts of liberalism and conservatism. That in effect Reaganism was nothing more than liberalism with a militaristic tint. In effect it was fascism.

In effect IT IS fascism.

I recommend taking a look. TAO has an interesting viewpoint.

12:02:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

I've been seeing his comments. I often check in without leaving one myself. I like the way he thinks.

9:39:00 AM  

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