Democrats Digging in
By: Craig Chamberlain
Most Americans praise bipartisanship. They see it as the mature thing to do. Americans of differing opinions coming together to reach a consensus and work for the good of the country. And while that might actually happen from time to time, it is usually partisan warfare that actually gets anything done. Big things(for good or bad) are usually the work of one party who got to enact its will by vanquishing the other party at the polls. The emancipation of slaves was not a bipartisan act, it was done by the GOP while the Democrats howled bloody murder. Giving women the right to vote was not a bipartisan act, it was done by the GOP while the Democrats fought it every step of the way. The New Deal was a Democratic enterprise, with FDR and his cronies creating a culture of dependency while the GOP opposed it, after all that is what an opposition does, it opposes. The Great Society, with its war on poverty, was a Democratic venture. There have been bipartisan ventures, the civil rights act, and voting rights act were bipartisan and never would have passed without GOP support, though to hear modern history tell it the GOP fought it every step of the way.
We should not expect any great new era of bipartisanship with the incoming Congress. It just isn’t going to happen. More importantly, it can’t happen. The Democrats, President Obama and the Congressional Democrats that survived the election anyway, have tied themselves to the progressive agenda. Any compromise would be a renunciation of their own beliefs, and would doom them with the base of their party. If they even try to compromise on health care they will be seen as wasting the largest Democratic majority in a generation for nothing. What was the majority sacrificed for if not to move the country permanently to the left? Why not compromise to begin with and keep their majorities? It was never about passing a bill that the American people viewed favorably, it was about passing a socialist nightmare, giving goodies to the allies in the unions, and sticking it to people they deemed enemies.
Instead the country will have a GOP House of Representatives, a Democratic Senate, and, of course, a Democratic President. The House will try to repeal Obamacare, will try to curb the stimulus, will try to preserve tax levels where they are, and the Democratic Senate will kill every single one of them. Harry Reid is still the majority leader, and that means he gets to set the agenda in the Senate, if he doesn’t want to talk about Obamacare there is nothing in the rules that can force him to cooperate. There is going to be gridlock.
And the truth is, I’m fine with that. Most Americans should be as well. First of all when government is busy fighting among themselves, they don’t have the time to hurt the American people. Secondly, when there is gridlock there is a clear option for the American people to see. The voters will see a Republican house trying to save money and roll back the size of government, they will also see a Democratic Senate making sure that the spending goes on, the debt goes up, and taxes soar. Yeah, I’m fine with the public getting two years of that. Let there be no mistake where the lines are drawn and what party stands for what. We saw that on November 2nd, and the GOP gained over 60 seats in the house and 6 seats in the Senate.
So bring on the warfare. The Democrats will have to dig in, and fight the will of the American people. The people want the spending to stop, they want taxes to stay where they are, they want the debt to go down. The Democrats don’t see any problem with a 13 trillion dollar debt, higher taxes during a recession, or spending more in four years than the entire republic had spent in over 200 years. Fortunately for Republican the Democratic party isn’t that smart. They kept Nancy Pelosi on as minority leader, they thought that there victories in 2006 and 2008 were mandates for radical change, and now, in the face of defeat, they insist that they are going to stay the course. Good. Let’s not have any confusion about what the parties stand for.
If there really was an interest in bipartisanship, and the good of the country, the Congress would already have extended the Bush tax cuts, they already would have made significant changes to the health care law, specifically repealing section 1099 and getting rid of the individual mandate. That would be a nice start, a better start would be to scrap the entire unconstitutional bill and start all over again. Instead of trying to cram the DREAM act through a lame duck Congress they would try to negotiate a real immigration deal that provided for real border security. Instead, Senator Reid, in an attempt to buy off Hispanic voters in Nevada, is pushing through a new amnesty for illegal immigrants.
So, the rhetoric notwithstanding, there is little interest in bipartisan action. There is only interest in victory, and that’s how it should be. The voters didn’t vote for a “me too” republicanism, no conservative wants a GOP that only existed to collaborate with their leftist overlords. If we have to have two years of gridlock, to get a real constitutionally minded majority, that’s fine. In 2010 the GOP ran as conservatives instead of as incumbents. Let’s have a rematch of that in 2012 and see how things go, if that means butting heads with a Democratic Senate and President Obama fine. Let the Democrats have to campaign against what the tea party and the GOP want to do. If that’s the price of gridlock, then let’s have gridlock.