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LM: "At Issue..." April, 2000
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Bi-Partisan? Bull

When I vote for a politician, I do so expecting that they will act on the ideals expressed during the campaign. More so, I expect them to abide within the Party they claim to be part of. Along with Party affiliation is a general acceptance of a platform on the issues. When two Parties can agree on a certain point, we call it Bi-Partisan. No problem except when words like this are thrown around in contradiction to the reality... isn't it ironic.

Anytime a President or Party doesn't get it's way on an issue- blame is assigned, "They must stop this Partisan bickering and approve my bill" (usually "...for the children"). And I say, GOOD! If they stuck to their principles, they did the job they were sent to Washington, D.C. to do by those who put them in office. Calling for Bi-Partisan action on an issue where the Party differences are obvious is just a tricky word game and attempt at pressure by false premise. Make the opponent seem unfair, uncooperative and to be blocking progress in one simple phrase. I would hope candidates didn't compromise their principles just to seem fair and electable... but that just isn't the reality within the two old parties. Principles set on an Etch-a-Sketch.

We also know that Democrats and Republicans do haggle with their positions to get what they want from each other (quid pro quo). The end result, we end up getting alot from both in terms of legislation (taxes and regulations). Or we get a bill to reduce taxes with 15 Amendments attached, raising other taxes, adding funding to another program or company, or to regulate donut hole size! In the end, neither stand by their principles unless it suits them to be contrary- not because they finally decided to make a stand for once. They are more like factions of one party, wheeling and dealing to make sure they each have enough money and power to enact, maintain and control their favorite issues. And like a couple of kids will stomp their feet and name call to get their way. Hmmm, Bi-Partisan? More like Factionism than Partisanism.

A small solution would be for bills to be required to remain germane to one topic. No riders to kill the bill, or complicate the issue. Just handle one thing at a time. Stick to Party lines, and work on common ground. And what really gets to me in watching the process on the House floor on C-SPAN, is that our representatives are too busy to attend debates on issues these days. They pop in for a vote, then go back to a Committee to continue planning various other legislation beyond what they just missed listening to and voted on. Disgraceful. No wonder they can crank out so many laws and programs- and still not be able to make them work! That's gotta change too. Imagine if the framers of the Constitution or the individual States were just too busy to hear the arguements pro and con on federalized government- There would either have been no Constitution, Bill of Rights, or a poorly written document had it been under today's circumstances.

Partisan politcs, I like the sound of that. Of course I'd prefer to hear that those Libertarians controlling the Congress are, "...just being Partisan again!". That has a nice ring to it.

Coming next Month: Religion in Politics

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