Saturday, February 20, 2010

Obama Is Already Achieving Bipartisanship

From Libby Sternberg at RealClearPolitics:
If his goal is truly bipartisanship, President Obama should relax. On his major policy initiatives, he's achieved it. Democrats have successfully reached across the aisle to work with Republicans to oppose initiatives such as cap-and-trade, health care reform, and now the administration's handling of terror suspects' trials.
The president's ability to achieve this oppositional bipartisanship goes beyond Congress. He's managed to unite the electorate as well, bringing substantial numbers of Democrats and independents to agree with Republicans -- on opposing his agenda.
The president seems to be defining bipartisanship as a one-way street: principled opponents dropping their legitimate concerns so as to pass the president's agenda. (my emphasis-SP)
Instead of viewing bipartisanship through this skewed lens, the president, along with House and Senate Democratic leaders, might want to look at the cooperative spirit of opposition and ask not what bipartisanship can do for them, but what they should be doing for bipartisanship.

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