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February 15th, 2009


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12:42 am - The (wondrous and joyful) end of bipartisanship
Obama gets into office and attempts to build some sort of bipartisan coalition to help get the nation out of it's current wretched state. Unfortunately, all this means is that massive compromises in his stimulus package result in a grand total of 3 votes, and his one Republican cabinet pick dropping out after talking about grave differences of opinion. From my PoV, attempting any sort of bipartisanship, compromise, or coalition with any & all federal-level Republicans is doomed, because they are all far too locked into their insane, greed-ridden, reality-denying, vile, hate-filled ideology. Thankfully, Obama seems to be over all that foolishness with a switch to a far more partisan (& thus sane) New Deal style effort. The sad fact of US politics, is while there are both good Democrats and bad Democrats, on the Federal level, there is nothing good about the Republican party or the politicians who represent it. On the bright side, the Republican answer to their big loss is to get more rather than less extreme, and that leaves them headed for becoming primarily a regional party with little national influence for the next decade, and more if we're lucky.
Current Mood: pleasedpleased

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From:hasufin
Date:February 15th, 2009 09:17 am (UTC)
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I don't know that I'd make any sweeping statements just yet. Stimulus packages have been a problem for a while, even before Obama came into office. And economy is one of the most legitimately polarizing points between the parties. I certainly hope Obama isn't abandoning bipartisanship, as I don't think the next four years should be a repeat of the last four but with the places swapped.
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From:heron61
Date:February 15th, 2009 09:25 am (UTC)
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I certainly hope Obama isn't abandoning bipartisanship, as I don't think the next four years should be a repeat of the last four but with the places swapped.

I'd agree with you, except that on the Federal level the Republican party is filled with politicians who from my PoV range from (at best) amoral greed-heads to dangerously insane religious maniacs. When you have one entire national party that has been doing its level best to be the party of evil, bigotry, an hatred, the idea of forming any sort of coalition seems foolish to the extreme, and I'm very much hoping that Obama now sees this.

Also, by not cooperating with them, they'll almost certainly drift further into extremism, which in the short term will keep them out of office, and (hopefully, and likely inevitably) in the medium or long term will result in either a radical change in the party or (far less likely) the death of that party and the birth of a new party, and it's difficult to imagine a Republican party that can both manage to get any significant number of votes and that is not significantly less insane than the current one.
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From:hasufin
Date:February 15th, 2009 09:33 am (UTC)
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Hm. Well, I'm wary of using too wide a brush there. Many Republicans basically stand for reduced government involvement, more traditional values, and just generally a more conservative outlook. And there's value in that, if only to put a check in some of the more radical things some people would seek to do. Moreover, remember that pretty close to half the country does in fact believe in the Republican party, and leaving them feeling disenfranchised is most emphatically not a good thing.

I'd like to see the Republican party ditch their more radical and anti-progressive members, but I do believe that there is a party beyond those sorts, and that it's possible to have a system which keeps itself in balance instead of one that is focused on ripping itself apart.
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From:heron61
Date:February 15th, 2009 09:51 am (UTC)
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Many Republicans basically stand for reduced government involvement

In corporate affairs, this is true, but since the 1980s, it's been the party of increased intervention in people's private lives. This hasn't been just a reactionary fringe, but the party platforms. I remember the old, pre-Reagan Republican party from the various Senate and House Republicans who staying in office - they presented a vision of a Republican that I drastically disagreed with, but which I did not find vile. However, they've all pretty much been gone for the last 15 years and what we have no bears absolutely no relationship to the Republican party of the 1960s or even the 1970s. We now have the bigot & fundy angry white man party that uses rhetoric to con people who aren't bigoted angry white men &/or religious maniacs into voting for it, but this rhetoric is provably incorrect. Given that the nation has changed a lot since 1975, going back to that older Republican Party also won't work (especially since the cornerstone of that party was the Cold War). The nation needs a drastically new Republican Party, that needs to be at least as different from the current party as it was from the Republican Party of 1970.

more traditional values

I literally can't think of anything that could possibly fall under this heading that I don't consider (at best) outmoded, and in general appallingly narrow-minded &/or horrifically bigoted. Even since Nixon began his Southern Strategy (and Reagan & Bush I & II all gleefully made it their own) the Republican party has been the bigot/angry white man party.

I don't see any version of the modern Republican party that fits in any notion of balance. The US needs to join the rest of the first world and by the standard of almost all of these nations, the Democratic party makes a fairly adequate conservative party and the Republican party are lunatics with almost no analog (beyond fringe vileness like the British National Party) in the rest of the first world.
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From:talonstrike
Date:February 15th, 2009 08:13 pm (UTC)
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No. No no no no no no no no no no. Many Republicans SAY they stand for reduced government involvement, more traditional values, and a more conservative outlook. There IS value in that, but don't be fooled by dangerous lunatics paying lip service to reasonable ideas. Look at what their left hand is doing while their right hand is putting on a puppet show about things like fiscal responsibility and smaller government.
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From:talonstrike
Date:February 15th, 2009 08:11 pm (UTC)
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I agree that the Republicans are likely to drift further into extremism, but I fail to see how that will keep them out of office. I would expect that those who voted for them would drift with them (people get very heated when they feel their representatives and their ideas and their ideals are being treated unfairly) and they would retain a similar-sized voter base of now-even-more-insane voters.
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From:mindstalk
Date:February 15th, 2009 05:57 pm (UTC)
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Bipartisanship requires being able to find some common ground or reasonable compromises. This is difficult when the parties disagree sufficiently.

economics: the Democrats have a weak attachment to standard and common-sense economics -- the tested stuff, not that which brought us this mess; the Republicans think Keynes has been debunked and are still pumping tax-cut trickle-down economics (what GHWB called voodoo economics, before he sold out.)

abortion: Yeah.

torture: Y/N? Hard to compromise.

health care: vague motion toward universal health care vs. ideas to make it even more individually paid for -- McCain was attacking even employer group insurance.

And most of the moderate Republicans have been replaced by moderate to conservative Democrats, so the ones left are the extreme ones who helped bring us the last 8 years and the least interested in bipartisanship, unless that means their getting their way.

Edited at 2009-02-15 06:00 pm (UTC)
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From:helen99
Date:February 15th, 2009 04:41 pm (UTC)
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I hope you're right. In fact, I pray you're right. If there is a god or gods or goddesses of any kind, I pray that you are right and that they lose political power. Not for just 10 years, either - forever. Hideous, vituperative, liars.
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From:rjgrady
Date:February 16th, 2009 03:04 am (UTC)
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I applaud Obama for his sensible, good faith effort to include the Republicans. I am mildly surprised but not shocked that the Republicans have decided to jump off a cliff while singing slogans. At the very least, Obama has the direction of the wind, and further, may have conveniently invited the GOPs to a neck-tie party which they have graciously decided to attend.
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From:slothman
Date:February 17th, 2009 01:47 am (UTC)
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Individual sane Republicans do exist, but their entire party apparatus appears to be devoted to marginalizing them.

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