That spirit of bipartisanship
During Obama’s campaign for the White House, he preached endlessly about bipartisanship. As with the rest of his message of “change”, people, and especially media, bought it hook, line, and sinker:
You said the time has come to move beyond the bitterness and pettiness and anger that’s consumed Washington; to end the political strategy that’s been all about division and instead make it about addition – to build a coalition for change that stretches through Red States and Blue States. Because that’s how we’ll win in November, and that’s how we’ll finally meet the challenges that we face as a nation.
No one looked at his actions, they simply took his word and ran with it. Now, I’ve seen how DC works for years. Preaching bipartisanship is one thing, making it work another. For all his words, Obama made no effort to reign in Nancy Pelosi. The first thing she did was strip the House Fairness Rules of 1995. This Republican measure gave the minority party a voice in legislation. The minority party didn’t like that too much. It’s about as partisan as you can get. The only intent for doing this was to allow the majority party the ability to basically ram legislation through with little discussion or debate. The response to this power grab by Pelosi has been pretty much as expected. Of the most recent round of votes:
- HR. 11 – Passed 247-171, 15 not voting. 97% of Democrats supporting, 99% of Republicans opposing
- HR. 12 – Passed 256-163, 14 not voting. 98% of Democrats supporting, 95% of Republicans opposing.
- HR. 12 with instructions – Failed 178-240, 14 not voting. 99% of Republicans supporting, 97% of Democrats opposing.
These are a couple of fairly ambiguous laws that really have no serious repercussions on day to day life and are mostly symbolic. The only real symbolism that has come from these votes is that given all the bipartisan rhetoric, Obama hasn’t done squat to reach out to the other side and if anything, has hardened partisan feelings by allowing Pelosi to squelch the minority party’s right to free speech inside the House. Because of Pelosi’s power grab and blatant slap in the face of the minority party, we’re right back where we were before Obama won, if not worse. Obama and Pelosi are going to have to rely solely on their own party’s votes to get anything passed. So much for “change”.