David Kirkpatrick

February 1, 2010

The party of “no” is hard at work

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 5:19 pm

Hard at work doing nothing productive in the midst this extremely challenging economic climate. These tactics might (yes, might — there’s no given that this electoral cycle will favor the GOP) work in November, but real long-term damage is still being done to the Republican brand. Going with all tactics of negativity with no strategy or vision for the future aside from attempting to harm Democratic plans will not lead to electoral success.

From the link:

I got this note from someone with many decades’ experience in national politics, about a discussion between two Congressmen over details of the stimulus bill:

“GOP member: ‘I’d like this in the bill.’

“Dem member response: ‘If we put it in, will you vote for the bill?’

“GOP member:  ‘You know I can’t vote for the bill.’

“Dem member:  ‘Then why should we put it in the bill?’

“I witnessed this myself.”

I wrote back saying, “Great story!” and got the response I quote below and after the jump. It is worth reading because its argument has the valuable quality of being obvious — once it is pointed out. The emphasis is mine rather than in the original; it is to highlight a basic structural reality that has escaped most recent analysis of the “bipartisanship” challenge.

Also:

As I have pointed out a time or two or a thousand, the structural failures of American government are the country’s main problem right now. In this installment, we see that the US now has the drawbacks of a parliamentary system — absolute party-line voting by the opposition, for instance — without any of the advantages, from comparable solidarity among the governing party to the principle of “majority rules.” If Democrats could find a way to talk about structural issues — if everyone can find a way to talk about them — that would be at least a step. And the Dems could talk about the simple impossibility of governing when the opposition is committed to “No” as a bloc.

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