The text book definition of political bipartisanship is Republicans completely abjuring their principles to conform with Democrat objectives. People on our side who bemoan the lack of bipartisanship and lampoon us for being so “intransigent” in the face of compromise tend to miss this point. Their dream of bipartisanship is predicated on the erroneous notion that there is a willing partner to engage in compromise. Well, they should heed Harry Reid’s words very carefully: (via Roll Call)
“Mitt Romney’s fantasy that Senate Democrats will work with him to pass his ‘severely conservative’ agenda is laughable,” Reid said in a statement. “In fact, Mitt Romney’s Tea Party agenda has already been rejected in the Senate. In the past few months, we have voted down many of the major policies that Mitt Romney has run on, from the Ryan plan to end Medicare as we know it, to the Blunt Amendment to deny women access to contraception, to more tax giveaways for millionaires and billionaires, to a draconian spending plan that would gut critical services for seniors and the most vulnerable Americans.”
Reid accused Romney of “kowtowing” to the tea party and disputed Romney’s claims of bipartisanship while he served as governor of Massachusetts.
“He had a terrible relationship with Democrats, cordoning himself off behind a velvet rope instead of reaching out to build relationships,” Reid asserted. “Senate Democrats are committed to defending the middle class, and we will do everything in our power to defend them against Mitt Romney’s Tea Party agenda.”
Let’s put this in perspective. Mitt Romney is a very moderate Republican. He has governed like a moderate, campaigned like a moderate, and has spoken incessantly about working with Democrats. Yet, Harry Reid is telling him to take his bipartisanship and shove it. Hence, they are treating him with the same demeanor as they would Jim DeMint.
This is something that moderate Republicans never understand. In the eyes of Democrats, Republicans are the hated enemy. They want them dead (politically speaking) – every one of them. They will treat moderate Republicans with as much vitriol as they would conservatives, unless they agree to completely surrender to their socialist agenda. That is why there is no way to compromise with them. Democrats will never willingly concede any aspect of their agenda unless they are forced to do so by voters.
With that in mind, it’s not hard to understand why we lose so many policy fights with them. They come to the table with truculent partisanship, while Republicans begin negotiations conceding half their ground. It’s a recipe for disaster.
If Romney becomes the next president, he must heed Harry Reid’s warning and remember what happens when Republicans unilaterally cede the field to a more adamant and determined enemy.
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