mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Monday, January 26, 2009

In praise of partisanship...

While I was half-watching CNN at the gym, they had a question where people email their thoughts on bipartisanship. Most of the responses were "the Republicans are evil criminals who are saying no to everything Obama wants" mixed in with a few "well the Democrats suck, and they are infighting amongst themselves. Why would Republicans go with them"?

Here's the thing about bipartisanship. To me, what that means is a certain level of compromise - you put aside small differences to pass legislation that the majority of people want. Of course, I say that because I'm a Republican. For the Dems right now, bipartisanship is saying yes to whatever they want.

Of course, most Republicans aren't going to do that, for very good reasons. To be a Republican and still have a seat right now, you probably come from a very Republican district back home. The people who voted you in power probably want someone who acts like a Republican, and one who goes too far towards being for whatever the Prez wants has a good chance of facing a challenger in the next primary.

But I also think a certain amount of partisanship is a good thing. Our system of government was built on conflict, on debating ideas and proposals. It might not be quite as fun or entertaining as the British Parliament, where members can get pretty nasty, but it's there. And that's a good thing - it brings out different views on things, points out flaws or conflicts of interest, and gives people a better idea of proposed legislation.

Right now one of the things that Dems are going to want the Republicans to get behind is their bailout/economic stimulus plan. I'm not a big fan of any economic stimulus plan, and I predict that this one will be full of lots of pork, government overreaching, handouts to people who don't need or deserve them, and new programs that will never die, just get bigger and cost more money. This is a plan whose costs will be born by my generation and my generation's children. It should be debated, it should be opposed, it should have to be justified by the people who want to pass it. It is exactly the kind of thing that a minority party should not roll over on.


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