Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Bye, Partisan

Having just watched the signing of the health care reform bill, and having, almost immediately thereafter, heard it pointed out that there was no bipartisan support, not a single Republican involved, an obvious thought occurred to me: It was an uncommon amount of bipartisanship that led to this day.

Barack Obama ran for president on the promise of health care reform (among other things, some of which he's done, some of which remain on the table). He laid out what he wanted to do, and he was elected resoundingly. More important, so were huge majorities of Congressional Democrats who promised the same. Why? Because large numbers of independents and Republicans voted for them. That, in the most important sense of the term, is bipartisanship (or, maybe better, tripartisanship.) The crazy that happened subsequently doesn't work retroactively.

For purely political purposes, calculating that their future depended on withholding ALL cooperation, the opposition mounted a fierce response. Cynically they fueled fear, finding perfect substrate in the most paranoid and least thoughtful among us. Fertilizing the so-called grassroots, abetted by a non-stop propaganda machine based at Fox "news" and in the airways of the rest of the RWS™, the Party of No was impressively effective. THAT'S why there were no Republicans at the ceremony. THAT'S why, despite the middle-of-the-road nature of the bill, despite its similarity to Republican proposals, the NO-sters begged off. They made it clear from the beginning that it was strategy, having nothing to do with helping solve one of our greatest problems. Having only to do with what they thought was a way back to power.

I've said it before: I'm not overwhelmingly happy with this bill. I hoped for much more; and, frankly, I don't trust the math (although, unlike Bush and the Rs with their drug bull, the Ds made an effort to pay for theirs). But I most certainly AM happy that something got started, that there were, in the end, Congressfolk willing to stick their necks out despite what may be career-ending opposition based on lies and politics at its worst. It refreshes me, if only a little.

Most of all, to finish the original thought of this post, I'm reminded of the most bipartisan of elections in recent memory, that got us here. Lies, fear-mongering, naked thirst for power above country, a wide-ranging and effective news network unlimited by ethics, unconstrained by a desire for truthfulness -- none of that can unwind the fundamental reason this happened. People got energized (for the first time since college, I did, too), got out there, went door to door, gave money, made calls, and they -- including many who crossed over -- elected a guy who promised change. If the tone in Washington didn't, in fact, change, it was because those left behind dug in, deeply, and said "No, you can't."

They were wrong about that. But, as has become immediately apparent in the response from the right wing (right on cue, John Boner says "they're taking away our freedoms"), they remain all in: no cooperation, no change. No bipartisanship.

Except, of course, for the kind that made it all happen.


  1. There was Bi-Partisan agreement...
    Against the Bill.
    Just like there was Bi-Partisan support for Invading Iraq,Kuwait, and the Taxcuts of Ronaldus Magnus & "W"...
    and you can't be happy about those Medicare Advantage Cuts...
    Really, I think someones swappin your Namenda for TicTacs...


  2. You need to read more than just my blog, Frankie. Success begets success.

    Or maybe it's that information eventually overcomes lies. For enough people, anyway, to make a difference. For the rest, well, there will always be Fox.

  3. Good One Sid...
    Did you MEAN to link to a Gay Porn Site?????
    and I think the whole point of Obama-care was to make sure you never operate again....

  4. Very nice letter in the Seattle Times today, Sid!


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