Partisan:a strong supporter of a party, cause, or person.
So what is “Post-Partisanship”? Is it a coming together? Is it an attempt to blur the traditional lines or roles of our current two-party system?
What is the effect of pursuing “Post-Partisanship”? Is it compromise? Is it holding the hand of the opposition party to appear less partisan?
Apparently, it’s all of those things.
I don’t want to jump out of the gate too soon and call President Obama’s attempt to heal some of the divisions in our country a failure, but certainly he must realize that for this “Post-Partisanship” to work, both sides must be willing to give something, and right now it appears that the only side giving anything is the President.
This puts the President in a position far weaker than the one his landslide victory should afford him. Take a look at this video from The Rachel Maddow Show
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For all the Republican attacks on infrastructure spending, in order for our nation to compete globally and protect its citizen’s vital interests, our infrastructure, much of it built in the 60’s and 70’s, must be updated to meet the needs of the 21st century. Further, this infrastructure spending creates jobs, that puts that money right back into the hands of the people who most desperately need it, the American worker.
As Maddow rightly points out, the President gave Republicans just about everything they wanted in an effort to win some votes from their side. This did not happen. In fact, the President couldn’t even keep some of his own party members (12, including Jim Cooper (TN-05)) from voting against the bill.
So what has President Obama gained from this exercise? Nothing, in fact he may have lost quite a bit.
By spending the majority of his time courting Republicans, he has ignored his own party, much to their chagrin, and gained nothing.
The question has to be asked; does courting an unwilling partner really gain you anything? I’m all for dialogue, but not at the expense of party unity.
President Obama is starting down the path of some bizarre, upended Can’t Buy Me Love scenario. It is a fine and noble cause to try and bring as many people as possible into the solution, but there has to be some willingness on their part to be a part of the solution. If you’re just bribing them, they’re not your friends they’re using you. And if you’re forgetting about your REAL FRIENDS in the process, you may find that you have fewer REAL FRIENDS in the long run.
Post-Partisanship is fine, collaboration is fine, but not at the expense of the ideas and values that we elected you to represent. President Obama, don’t give away the farm so soon. You have a lot of political capitol at your disposal, but perhaps, not quite as much as you think you do.
Update:TPM has the Republican definition of Bi-Partisanship