Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Bipartisanship: The Impossible Dream - Updated

I forgot to post James Fallows excellent piece on the myth of bi-partisanship. Worth a read in full, but here's the money graf.
Bipartisanship consists of getting ENOUGH members of the minority party to join the (incomplete) majority in voting for major legislation. It can't happen if the minority party members vote as a block against major legislation. And that can happen only if the minority party has the ability to discipline its ranks so that none join the majority, which is the unprecedented situation we've got in Congress today.

There's really nothing more to be said about "why no bipartisanship," once one recognizes the GOP party discipline.
Fallows posts a part two to this today that addresses some of the feedback. This part was amusing.
(And how EXACTLY does each GOP member get the word that a particular vote really matters for this purpose? Find the answer to that, and you will have the perfect comeback to those who try to blame intransigence of the Dems for the lack of GOP votes. Someone somewhere is giving orders to GOP members, whether by verbal means, written or oral, or secret handshakes or numbers of lanterns hung in the steeples of churches.)
As Fallows says, "the structural failures of American government are the country's main problem right now." I'm thinking he's right. Until we repair the systemic problems with the process, nothing will change.

Update: Well, I no sooner posted this when I ran across this post by Ezra: The Primacy of Process.

[More posts daily at The Detroit News]


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