December 3, 2006

Why the 109th Congress Could Not be Bipartisan

It was impossible for the recent* Congresses, under Republican control, work in a bipartisan manner. This was the fault of the Majority leadership. Because they sought to destroy our government, Democrats could not work with them in a constructive way. That is, it was impossible for Democrates negotiate "compromises" on the fundamental dismanetling of our governing institutions.

The Republican leadership took a fundamentalist view toward the notion of "less government," leading to a view that could be summed up as "no government."** This was epressed in terms of extreme legislative proposals representing steps toward dismanteling institutions like social security. This leadership includes the White House under George W. Bush. This view is verbalized by Grover Norquist, key Bush advisor and founder of Americans for Tax Reform, who says, "My goal is to cut government in half in twenty-five years.." "..to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub."

This isn't just rehtoric from someone who likes to say pithy things on TV. Wall Street eononomist and former Treasury Secretry, Robert Rubin, wrote*** that he believed the Bush administration sought to force the government into such deep debt that it would be impossible to fund medicare and social security. Rather than structure legislation to "reform" these institutions, the goal was to kill them. It isn't possible for Democrats to "be bipartasin," and "go half-way" when the goal was death. The Repbulicans understood this, so they chose differet means to the same end; spend the US into such deep debt that their goals of destroying government becomes a foregone conclusion, regardless of what the Democrats would want to do if they regained control of Congress.


* Since 1994.
** Ironically, "no government" is also the anarchist goal.
*** I need to track down that article.

1 comment:

Quipper said...

I don't want bipartisanship; it means that there are only two prevalent (but not necessarily good) trains of thought. I want more options.

Who wants two parties that act practically in the same way, no matter how dogmatically different they are?