The Rope In The Partisan Tug Of War
Published: April 2nd, 2010
By: Steven and Cokie Roberts

The rope in the partisan tug of war

So you think the partisanship in Washington is bad now? Just wait – it’s likely to get worse after the fall elections.

The capital is gripped by a tribal blood feud. Republicans and Democrats view the other party as not just wrong but evil, and this poisonous polarization was on full display during the last days of the healthcare debate. The two sides spoke no common language, employed no common frame of reference, and viewed the fight as Armageddon, in the words of House Republican leader John Boehner, the final battle between light and darkness.

In the end, a major overhaul of the American economy passed without a single Republican vote, and that’s bad news for the health of our civic life. A change this large should reflect a national consensus, not just the views of one party. But in today’s Washington, the outcome was probably inevitable.

Even if President Obama genuinely wanted a bipartisan bill, there are few pragmatic Republicans around to serve as negotiating partners. And the survivors face enormous pressure from the far right to extinguish even a flicker of cooperation.


The Evening Sun

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