11 February 2009

Bi-Partisanship Is Overrated

Early Monday morning I finished Dickens' Great Expectations. I was interested to see that he used the term "overrated."

Apparently it's a term that's been percolating for longer than Barack Obama's political career.

My bad.

Today I received an email from Matt P. I hadn't heard from Matt P. for a long time so I was glad to read what he had to say about the Spendulous bill currently being considered in House/Senate conference.

Here's Matt P.:
Your most recent blog post mentioning our new "post-partisan" era made me think of an email I received from my quite liber... err... very liberal uncle recently. He asked "Why... is the majority party permitting the bankrupt policies of the elephant party to dominate so much of the discussion surrounding the stimulus package? They don't seem to value bipartisanship, why should the Democrats?"

To me the answer is quite clear, even when accepting the premise that Democrats are not partisan and that the minority party had a huge say in anything that happened with this stymie-ulus bill. My answer, in part:

"From a purely political standpoint, if this can be portrayed as a bipartisan effort, it can be claimed as such, which would drastically reduce the overall risks of such a bill failing while maintaining the positive political upside if it were to succeed. "If we hadn't reached out the Republicans, this wouldn't have failed." Or, "If we had reached out [to] the Republicans more, this stimulus would not have been as effective."

From an ideological standpoint, I don't think that either party should place such high value [on] bipartisanship as it's much over-hyped in its importance. If you truly believe in something, you should make every reasonable effort to bring it about, especially on something as important as this. It's about making sure that the application of principle does not pull you away from that core belief. If you believe that this is our economic armageddon and the only way to avoid that is to either borrow the money or make nearly a trillion dollars out of thin air, then bipartisanship is a non-issue."

That being said, I can't stand this thing for a host of reasons, but I don't have the time to go into that.
The Spendulous was always going to pass. Regardless of its particular impact if/when it comes to pass, the economy will, eventually, recover. Democrats can then claim (in a partisan, rather than post-partisan or bi-partisan way) to have effected the recovery by passing out free condoms and building dog parks and whatnot.

They just have to hope that things are looking better in 2010. Sure, they will still be able to blame Bush, but they will be less able to. Additionally, you should not conflate Obama's popularity (now off its historic high) with the Democratic Congress'. Throughout this process, Obama has cleverly positioned himself to be able to cast off the Democratic detritas (read: Reid & Pelosi).

If something bad happens, it's because they didn't pass the bill he wanted. He'll say, 'I signed it because it was the best I could expect from those idiots.'

Incidentally, I wouldn't disagree with his characterization of Pelosi & Reid.

2012 will roll around and by then all the money he will have paid out to unions and ACORN will have filled their ranks with the real-employment-averse, but Obama-politically active, recent college graduates. This modern-day force of Obama brown-shirts will then, by hook or crook, get their man elected, again. Folks, his election team is working in the off-season.

The Spendulous is about fulfilling every liberal's spending dream of utopia and of creating a perpetual Obama machine.

It's like the water cycle we learned about back in elementary school: Vote Democrat, Democrats pass trillion dollar bill with billions of dollars for unions and "community re-organizing" groups who then contribute money and manpower to re-elect their Democratic patrons.

To paraphrase Margaret Thatcher, the problem with this cycle is that eventually you run out of other people's money to spend.

If you have tips, questions, comments or suggestions, email me at lybberty@gmail.com.