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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

“Bipartisanship” Benefits Them, Not Us

posted by on January 30 at 11:20 AM

As I mentioned yesterday, I’m concerned by Obama’s talk of “bipartisanship”—specifically, the idea that if he’s elected, both Republicans and Democrats will rally around “a common purpose,” stop bickering over “partisan” issues, and unite to support the President’s (his) policies. He’s put out ads featuring prominent Republicans (ads that, by the way, didn’t play well with actual Republican voters) and said he’d appoint a Cabinet including Republicans such as Chuck Hagel and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Today, Salon’s Glenn Greenwald has a piece arguing that “bipartisanship” has done nothing for Democrats or Democratic policies. In Congress, “bipartisanship” has meant that “enough Democrats join with all of the Republicans to endorse and enact into law Republican policies, with which most Democratic voters disagree.” In almost every case, bills that have passed with “bipartisan” support have been Republican bills favored by the Bush Administration and supported by every single Republican. They include the Bush-supported FISA (unwarranted wiretaps) bill, a resolution condemning’s Petraeus ad, a resolution declaring English to be America’s official language, renewal of the USA PATRIOT Act, and confirmation of Bush appointee Samuel Alito to the Supreme Co

In almost every case, Democratic “bipartisans” have joined with lockstep Republicans to pass Republican laws. This is what bipartisanship means in Washington. Is it really what we want in a President?

(Thanks to Slog tipper Josh.)

RSS icon Comments


So I guess we should construe the forthcoming Stranger Obama endorsement as a Stranger endorsement of working hand-in-hand with Republicans to promote coal power and prevent universal health care.

Posted by lorax | January 30, 2008 11:20 AM

But wouldn't a lot of what happened under Bill's watch fit in that mold: DOMA, welfare reform, don't ask don't tell?

I don't expect Hilary to push an especially liberal agenda.

Posted by Jen | January 30, 2008 11:22 AM

Is Clinton promising to break from this precedent, and reframe what it is to be bipartisan? Everything I've seen is that she is promising the same "work together" ethos Obama is. Please correct me if I'm wrong, this is a strong point to sell me on Clinton.

Posted by Undecided | January 30, 2008 11:24 AM

ugh. if i didn't already have a headache i would bang my head against my desk right now.

enjoy your culture war, people. let me know how it turns out. this is the nice thing about living in san francisco - i can just ignore the sideshow in DC, and life will carry on as usual here. my boyfriend and i can engage in PDA without having to watch our backs, and have 3 pot clubs within walking distance of my apartment. life ain't so bad.

Posted by brandon | January 30, 2008 11:26 AM

so true, erica. 's'why i wouldn't even consider supproting hillary.

Posted by bing | January 30, 2008 11:28 AM

NEWS FLASH : Two parties really just one.

Thanks for pointing this out Erica.

It apparently must be repeated over and over again until stubborn Democrat cheerleaders finally give it up.

How many elections have to pass before the broken record finally stops getting played: "Lesser of two evils" "No matter how bad the Dem is, they are better than the Rep"

mm hmm.

Oh Lieberman can't wait to show up at the Republican convention when McCain wins the nomination. Thats the former VP candidate of the Democratic party in 2000 doing his thing.

Can't HRC or BO spare us the ruse and join him at the convention since they will soon be courting the same voters anyway? The more narrow the field becomes, the more right wing the policies will become.

Oops I mean moderate...not right wing...bipartisan...not mainstream. Didn't mean to confuse anyone.

Posted by patrick | January 30, 2008 11:29 AM

I'd respond, but it'd pretty much be the same things I said in ECB's last "Obama is a wimp who will sell us out (unlike Hillary, who has never done such a thing for convenience)" post, and which I'd probably feel compelled to say again when ECB posts pretty much the same post tomorrow.

Posted by tsm | January 30, 2008 11:31 AM

@4: we here in seattle, too, are in a liberal bubble. that bubble is shrinking shrinking shrinking. megachurches are moving into seattle proper.

if we don't get a dem in the WH to stem the tide, the barbarians will be at the gates of the Castro by 2012.

lakoff contends that you stick to your principles and frame them in a way that brings swing voters to your side. clintbama will run to the middle right & ignore this advice, though i'd wager every senior staff member in each of their campaigns has read his books & agrees with what they say.

Posted by max solomon | January 30, 2008 11:33 AM

Just to clarify...

You support Hillary Rodham Clinton!!! Of the two which one was bi-partisan when it came time to vote for the Iraq war?

Do you not know anything about her background? Are you somehow unaware that she is pretty much a symbol of pragmatism and neo-Liberalism?

She's pro abortion, which is very nice. Obama is too.

Like GW Bush, she's for big government, which I guess is good if you are one of the many recipients of government largesse, like agro-business and the drug companies, but this is really not a particularly liberal or conservative thing. I think Obama is too, so this doesn't really make them different. Little known fact, the Canadian federal government is much smaller than the US one, and I know which I'd prefer.

Examining the voting records of each doesn't really show either one to be particularly different conservative-liberal wise, as your headline seems to imply:

The big difference, really, is that 45% of the electorate will absolutely refuse to vote for her, while some smaller proportion feels that way about Obama. Which is all to say, Obama could possibly change some Republican minds about a few things, something that Hillary has no capacity to do; their ears are shut before she opens her mouth.

That's the big difference, and that's what's meant by bipartisanship.

In a Republican presidency, 'bipartisan' means democrats joining republicans, because the president has a lot of control of framing the issues. In a Democratic presidency, 'bipartisan' means republicans joining democrats.

Who will be able to make that happen? In my view, not Clinton. But that's just my opinion... It's not really pro-Obama, I just think Hillary will get shot to pieces.

Posted by John | January 30, 2008 11:34 AM

Thing is, Obama's bipartisanship is not the same as clintonian triangulation. It's a method of problem solving, exemplified by the near-unanimous support Obama won for his law in Illinois requiring police to videotape interrogations and confessions. It was a controversial measure and he got everyone behind it by talking with people who disagreed with it early on in the process.

Posted by Kevin Erickson | January 30, 2008 11:35 AM

@3, I think the point is Clinton isn't selling herself as a "uniter," per se. Obviously both of them are going to have to work together with whoever is in Congress. But Clinton, in my opinion, seems to be more wary and distrustful of Republicans than I've seen Obama be. I don't like the idea of Schwarzenegger in the cabinet. I think in general, Schwarazenegger has been a mediocre governor and his ambitious plans (such as universal health care) have failed because he is completely unwilling to raise taxes at all.

Fnarf will probably argue that Obama is reframing the debate and that he's making conservatives like him even when they don't agree with his policies so it's actually a net win for progressives. And if I thought he'd succeed at that, I'd be all for him. But I think largely, Obama hasn't been tested in that area, and won't be tested until the general. And I don't think that he has the political savvy, the brilliance, or quite the level of charisma necessary to pull off that reframing. His performances in the debates (mediocre) are further testament to this.

Remember, Bill Clinton was young, and filled people with hope, and was wildly charming, and he couldn't pull off a reframing of American politics either. And so Bill Clinton's answer was often to move to the right.

I think, on the whole, Bill Clinton was a good president. I think on the whole, Obama would be a good president. But I think Hillary Clinton has learned a lot from being an eye-witness to Bill Clinton's presidency. I think she's more savvy than Bill Clinton was when he took office and I think she's more savvy than Obama will be if he takes office.

I think she is more familiar with the nitty gritty of manipulating votes and will be better able to enact more progessive policies.

Posted by arduous | January 30, 2008 11:35 AM

This is just fucking stupid, and I'm beginning to think that you're grasping at straws to support a candidate that is yesterday's news.

First of all, Clinton I did *exactly* the same "bipartisan" thing during his administration to get anything done, and Clinton II supporters are relying on his record to boost their candidate. Again, DOMA? Welfare reform? Don't ask, don't tell? Are those all things that Clinton II is about to trot out on the campaign trail?

Second, Greenwald's story has a Republican view of "bipartisanship" that is pretty fucking inapplicable to a Democratic administration. Would Obama nominate Mukasey? No. Would Clinton II push through FISA? Maybe.

The relevant point, though, is that in our small-r republican system of government, you need support from the other party to get anything done. Any policies that Clinton II or Obama propose are going to have to have some support on the other side of the aisle. I, for one, would much rather have an inclusive process that actually neutralizes any claims on partisanship, than a policy of throwing elbows and giving the middle finger to pretty much half the country.

Lastly, both Bush and Clinton I had Republicans and Democrats involved in their administrations to some degree. Heck, John Kerry was rumoured to have floated the idea of giving John McCain the job of Secretary of Defense AND VP, and Clinton was advised by Dick Morris, a Republican strategist, for YEARS. Why is this news?

Posted by bma | January 30, 2008 11:37 AM

i think obama has the power of rhetoric or 'narrative' which is important...we need a form of bipartisanship which means come join us to the left of center and the rhetoric to stir people to do it. the left has been battling the far right's game far to long.

Posted by Jiberish | January 30, 2008 11:39 AM

Yeah, there's no way that bipartisanship could work out differently under a Democratic president than under Bush. Sure.

Seeing as how Clinton has been one of the most prominent cavers to Bush's minutest whims, and her husband was just as bad during his administration, I don't see how one can say that Obama is more likely to give away the store than she is.

It is also pretty clear that in the past fifteen years, the alternative to Dems caving in to Reps was just being completely ignored. That's not better than what we got.

Posted by Fnarf | January 30, 2008 11:39 AM

I thought Obama's MO was going to be to be on the offensive not the defensive. Introduce positive legislation and then try to get certain GOP moderates who have moderate or liberal constituancies on board. Shame them into supporting it because you will have the groundswell of public support like FDR did.

We know Hillary can't do that, there is too much baggage. LBJ did it. Why not at least give it a try with Obama? It might not work, but at least we can say we tried and took the highground rather than retreating into the 1990s us vs. them stalemate. Sure, that might happen anyway but why not try another path first?

Posted by Jason | January 30, 2008 11:40 AM

One thing needs to be repeated over and over and over:

Meaningful change will never, ever originate in the White House. It must come from the Congress. The sideshow that is Presidential Politics is making us dumber as a nation.

Article I, bitches. It's our only hope.

Posted by povertyrich | January 30, 2008 11:40 AM

All this points out is that Democrats are wimps compared to Republicans. Say what you will about Republicans and their policies, at least they work together and get laws passed that suit their agenda.

The Democrats have done nothing lately to show that they have the same ability. This depresses me as an independent voter. Those that move things along are moving the country in the wrong direction. Those that offer change have demonstrated no ability to actually deliver it.

Posted by PA Native | January 30, 2008 11:42 AM

Erica, the folks at U-Frame It on Broadway called. They think they have a frame for you that's more durable than the broken one you keep trying to flog here.

By the way, a few words and phrases you should keep in mind when putting forth crappy examples of "bipartisanship": Dick Morris, welfare reform, the Defense of Marriage Act, school uniforms.

Posted by Trey | January 30, 2008 11:43 AM

Somebody in a comments thread a couple days ago said, "Vagina O'Reilly". It still makes me laugh.

Posted by Clint | January 30, 2008 11:43 AM

Oh, so when Obama mentions some good things about a couple Reps, he's suddenly promised to give them Cabinet posts? Puhleaze.

Posted by NaFun | January 30, 2008 11:44 AM

Whenever you play into ECB's sexism trap, a kitten goes to bed hungry.

Posted by elenchos | January 30, 2008 11:47 AM

I think even most democrats (though not this one) actually want English to be the official language so saying "with which most Democratic voters disagree" is obviously massively incorrect.

Posted by Andrew | January 30, 2008 11:48 AM

Us vs. Them? Really? REALLY?

Posted by Michigan Matt | January 30, 2008 11:48 AM

You know what else had bipartisan support in the Senate? The reauthorization and extension of SCHIP: 60-36 in favor and 17 Republicans (Alexander, Bond, Coleman, Collins, Corker, Domenici, Grassley, Hatch, Hutchison, Lugar, Murkowski, Roberts, Smith, Snowe, Specter, Stevens (!!!), and Sununu voting Yea.

And I know I've seen Obama get shit on Slog for not voting on that bill. Thing is, neither did Clinton.

Posted by keshmeshi | January 30, 2008 11:48 AM

@14, my worry about Obama giving away the store stems from the fact that I think he may not have a choice. I don't think he has the savvy enough to get what he wants when he wants it.

As much as I hate the Bush administration, I have to concede that Bush gets what Bush wants. So from the perspective of George W Bush and his (few) supporters, life is good. I want Obama to get what Obama wants. I think it will be more likely that Obama won't be able to pull it off.

I agree that Bill Clinton, while overall a decent president, wasn't able to figure out until his second term how to get what he wanted. And then he was overshadowed of course, by impeachment. But my problems with Bill (who thought his charm could get him what he wanted to a certain extent) are also my problems with Obama. Both men rely too heavily on their personal force.

I think Hillary learned a lot from Bill's administration. I don't think she'll repeat his actions. I think that she will of course, have to give in to the Republicans at times, but over all I trust her more to get what she (and I) want.

Posted by arduous | January 30, 2008 11:49 AM

In almost every case, bills that have passed with “bipartisan” support have been Republican bills favored by the Bush Administration and supported by every single Republican... In almost every case, Democratic "bipartisans" have joined with lockstep Republicans to pass Republican laws. This is what bipartisanship means in Washington.

Unless it was when Clinton was president and there was a Republican Congress, in which case this was flipped.

This is the nature of democracy and representative government. You don't have to like it, I have quibbles with it, but it is the nature of things.

Posted by JMR | January 30, 2008 11:51 AM

yeah extreme partisanship really worked well for karl rove. he showed us that it's better to demonize and slime than address the issues on there merits and talk to people you don't like.

Posted by erica "coulter" barnett | January 30, 2008 11:51 AM

23 - thank you, MM. i was thinking the same thing. i think you can get a coffee mug at with that printed on it.

anyway i just read greenwald's piece, and can summarize it in 3 words: democrats are pussies. this is not news.

Posted by brandon | January 30, 2008 11:52 AM

Oh, and duh, one difference is we'll have a democrat in the white house. So the formulation will be : “enough Republicans join with all of the Democrats to endorse and enact into law Democratic policies..”

I can get into that.

Posted by Kevin Erickson | January 30, 2008 11:54 AM


Compromising and coalition building to get legislation passed for the common good is a American political reality.

Not the end of the world or a conspiracy against women.

Posted by artistdogboy | January 30, 2008 11:55 AM

Isn't Hillary still doing damage control for Bill's latest series outburst? If she learned so much from the Clinton administration, why is her husband still embarrassing her?

Posted by elenchos | January 30, 2008 11:56 AM

I can't wait for another four years of governing on the "ram it through with 51% support and not a single fucking ounce more" principle. Can't you?

Posted by oh yeah | January 30, 2008 11:56 AM

If the nominee becomes Mccain, we can guarantee it will be a median/independent voter contest, and Obama would do a lot better on that than Hillary considering he's had the same message about bipartisanship since day one.

I just wonder if Mccain is beatable? He's resonates pretty well with independents (he's every Democrat's favorite Republican...).

Posted by Joel | January 30, 2008 11:58 AM

God ECB this wasn't even a logical post.

1st of all why would a democratic president give republicans in congress who are in the minority what they want?

Oh and god forbid we don't pull the same polarizing us vs. them bullshit that Rove has brought for the last eight years.

Hillary sponsored a flag burning amendment! she has no fucking spine.

Your points are getting weaker and weaker and part of me hopes you write this awful shit solely to see people's heads explode in the comments.

Posted by cbc | January 30, 2008 11:59 AM
I think Hillary learned a lot from Bill's administration. I don't think she'll repeat his actions. I think that she will of course, have to give in to the Republicans at times, but over all I trust her more to get what she (and I) want.

On what do you base this opinion? When and where has she pushed through Democratic policies despite the opposition of Republicans? Do you have any evidence of it or are you basing this opinion on hope?

As #10 points out, Obama does have a track record of pushing unpopular laws through the Illinois Senate.

Posted by keshmeshi | January 30, 2008 11:59 AM

I love all the back and forth here on the Slog. And regardless of who you support, I hope everyone puts as much energy into attending the caucuses on Feb 9 as they do commenting on her.

Time for action, people.

Posted by Andy Niable | January 30, 2008 12:00 PM

If Clinton wins the nomination, we will have GOP rule, losing both the presidency and, from the downticket effect, the Dem majorities in Congress.

Then you'll get the end of bipartisanship you really seek, Erica.

Posted by congrats | January 30, 2008 12:02 PM

33 - the base haaaaaaaaaaaaaates him. go over to and read up. she's had a different mccain hatchet piece as the lead story every day for the past week.

he will fracture the base, but hillary will re-unite it [and it probably won't feel so good]. end of story.

Posted by brandon | January 30, 2008 12:03 PM

Oops--freudian slip. That should be "here," not "her."

Posted by Andy Niable | January 30, 2008 12:03 PM

Self righteous "i wont compromise my position" loses elections and benefits them.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | January 30, 2008 12:03 PM

@29, the reason most posters here have a problem with the Clinton administration is that they think that with a Democrat in the White House, and a Republican Congress, the Republicans still got what they wanted.

I don't think Obama expects the Republicans to stone-wall him. I think he has an idea in theory that sure, they could, but I think he believes strongly enough in his own force that he doesn't think they will. In that, I think he's being somewhat naive and strikingly similar to Bill Clinton's first term. I think Hillary Clinton expects the Republicans to stone-wall her and is prepared to put up a fight.

I think overall Obama will do a good job as president, but I think much of his first term will be squandered as he tries to get Republicans to play nice.

Posted by arduous | January 30, 2008 12:04 PM

"I'm for Obama, also. Absolutely. No doubts at all.

The recent crappy behavior out of Bill Clinton -- who definitely
has signaled that HE'S running for a third term, folks -- has
completely soured me on Hillary. I didn't like her before, but this
stuff is just outrageous. And, I do agree: if the choice
was between Hillary or McCain, John has my vote."

my mother, a 51 year old, middle class, life long democrat.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | January 30, 2008 12:06 PM

Maybe a lot of the Republicans and soc. conservatives will stay home, but there's no way they're voting for Obama, much less Hillary, and so it still turns into a battle for independents, and it's a battle I think Mccain wins (at least right now), at least that's what polls say.

We could hammer him pretty hard on his age maybe??

Posted by Joel | January 30, 2008 12:08 PM

John @ #9 and Fnarf @ #14 said everything I wanted to say and probably better than I would have been able to say it.

Posted by monkey | January 30, 2008 12:08 PM

@35, I think Hillary Clinton's audacity of hope for universal health care in the 90s was extremely prescient. It was a very liberal policy, and ahead of its time. I think her policy was dead on, but at the time, neither she nor Bill had the SAVVY to enact it.

Clinton and Obama have largely identical voting records in the Senate. I don't think there's much point in going point by point and saying what one favors and what one doesn't, because either side can construct a list of votes or stances that favors them. They have virtually identical policy points (though I minorly favor Clinton's.) The question is, who has the savvy to ENACT this policy.

I believe Clinton has the savvy to enact her policies. I think she's learnt from her mistakes. I think Obama WILL learn from his mistakes, but I think it will take him a few years of being president to do so.

Posted by arduous | January 30, 2008 12:09 PM

This is just a reminder of how pathetic Congressional Democrats have been since 2001. Says nothing about how Obama will lead as President.

Posted by heywhatsit | January 30, 2008 12:10 PM

The thing is, arduous, if the Republicans don't want to play nice with Obama, they're going to get left behind, and they're going to look bad doing it. If they refuse to play along with Clinton -- and they will -- they're going to look like they're taking a principled stand -- and they'll have a better chance of winning. In Congress, Republicans will occasionally cross the aisle to vote with Obama; but Democrats will pour across it to vote against Clinton.

Posted by Fnarf | January 30, 2008 12:11 PM

arduous, you're just repeating yourself. Yes, the whole world knows you think Hillary can do this and you think Hillary can do that. Ad nauseaum.

Instead of saying that over and over, can you give any evidence for why you think that?

Posted by elenchos | January 30, 2008 12:13 PM

congrats is right. A nation divided can not stand united.

Posted by Will in Seattle | January 30, 2008 12:16 PM

@48, you're right, I was repeating myself. Sorry about that. Must get more caffeine.

Evidence for what? For where I think Hillary has progressive polices or for how she has savvy?

I think fundamentally it comes down to the fact that Fnarf thinks that "Republicans will occasionally cross the aisle to vote with Obama; but Democrats will pour across it to vote against Clinton." And I think Republicans will see Obama as an easy target and stonewall him, whereas Clinton will go out and twist arms if she needs to in order to get them to vote for her.

I don't think either of us have hard empirical evidence that will show that that is what's going to happen. We're not time-travellers or sooth sayers. It's just Fnarf's prediction versus mine.

Posted by arduous | January 30, 2008 12:19 PM

No, wait -- I have incontrovertible proof! I have -- OK, I have an opinion just like you do. This is news? You're looking for PROOF? What do you think an election IS?

It's good to hear what you think, but "just an opinion" isn't an argument.

I don't think Clinton arm-twisting is going to work. I've seen how issues are introduced to the public, and how they are debated, and what makes people change their minds. I don't think Clinton's got that. I don't think she can change anyone's mind. Obama can. He can work the opinion machine in a way that she just doesn't have access to. In my opinion.

Posted by Fnarf | January 30, 2008 12:29 PM

The appeal to "bipartisanship" is certainly my main concern with Obama. The problem is, it's also my main concern with Clinton.

If anything, I'm worried that the long history of her actions (as opposed to Obama's campaign rhetoric) strongly indicates that she'll spend as much or more time appeasing Republicans and worrying about what the mythical "center" thinks as Obama will.

As far as I'm concerned, both candidates should be kicking the Rethugs repeatedly in the head/neck/kidneys/groin while they're down - because you know they certainly would/will if the situation is reversed.

Edwards got out too early.

Posted by Mr. X | January 30, 2008 12:29 PM

There's evidence that as a member of the Board of Directors of Wal-Mart, Hillary Clinton was able to deliver low prices. That, and a lot of Chinese sweat-shop made goods and union busting. Maybe she would kick some ass as President.

Posted by kk | January 30, 2008 12:41 PM

@51, Fnarf, I love arguing with you, but I don't think that what you offered was much more of an opinion. So if an opinion isn't an argument, then I think we're probably both SOL.

I don't think in my opinion that Obama can work the opinion machine in my opinion.

And I think Hillary can. I think she's had to fight more difficult elections than Obama (Obama didn't even have to campaign for Illinois) and I think she's done an excellent job of making conservative, rural voters in upstate NY like her.

I think Hillary has had to work for every vote she's gotten, whereas I think Obama has been able to coast on his charm. While I do find him charming, I think in the glaring spotlight of the presidency, where the media is jumping at you to fail, he's going to falter.

In my opinion. That may or may not be an argument.

Posted by arduous | January 30, 2008 12:41 PM


I'm not asking for evidence of Hillary's liberalism. I'm asking for evidence of Hillary's "savvy." You think she is better qualified to push through legislation despite the opposition of Republicans, but don't offer any evidence of it. Your faith in Hillary's savvy is as specious as that of many Obama supporters who have faith that he will do the right thing in office (but who don't base it on anything other than his charisma).

Posted by keshmeshi | January 30, 2008 12:44 PM

When I hear Obama talk about bipartisanship and "common sense" solutions I like to think he is talking about Democratic policies that the majority of the country actually wants. The Republicans have been able to suppress popular progressive policies only by using fierce partisan tactics against Democrats; attacking their character, motives, etc. The natural response is to fight back in kind, which is the main thrust of this thesis and I think ECB's position. However, taking this route will lead to frustration. The partisan trench warfare of the last 14 years was designed by Republicans and gives them every advantage, and if Democrats continue to fight along the same old battle lines they will continue to lose. The thesis also ignores the fact that Obama has specific policy positions which are uncompromisingly progressive. You seem to believe he is going to go back on them after he is elected in order to please Republicans. I think he will try to build a consensus around his policies and change the trajectory of the country like Reagan did, as Obama himself said.

Posted by markinthepark | January 30, 2008 12:47 PM

What that breakdown shows is that the Rs were good about finding issues that divided the Dems. Are you saying that there's no reason to believe that Dems aren't gonna be able to do the same thing when they control two branches of government again?

Posted by NaFun | January 30, 2008 12:47 PM

@55, I think I addressed this @54, and touched on it in other posts, so I don't want to risk Elenchos' ire by repeating many of the arguments that I've already made.

But ultimately, we're all voting on faith, right? Because none of us knows or can know what will happen. I don't think Obama supporters have empirical evidence that he will be able to pull Republicans to his cause or that he would be able to overcome the Republicans should the actively go against him. Hell, Bush was Mr. Bipartisanship in Texas and not so much when he became president.

So I'm sorry that this is a lame answer that I don't know. I don't. No one does. And I don't pretend to. I love Clinton and favor her policies. She inspires me like no politician has inspired me before. So I'm voting for her. You may favor Obama's policies and feel inspired by him. So you should vote for him. In the end, all I'm trying to do is suggest that there's an honorable argument to be made for Clinton. There are reasons, should she win the nom, to do more than hold your nose and vote for her. That there do exist people who find her inspiring. Who trust her. Who hope for her and have faith in her.

Posted by arduous | January 30, 2008 12:56 PM

*sigh* I almost don't want to comment on this, because no matter what happens you'll still use every little twist of logic or missatement of fact that you can to smear Obama.

You say that his calls for bi-partisanship will just result in more right-wing policies and laws, but you provide absolutely no evidence that Hillary would be any different. Seriously Erica, you're turning into Karl fucking Rove on this issue. (I agree with the commenter @27)

Speaking of Rove, I'm just so incredibly sick of the divisive politics of the Bush (Rove) administration that I welcome talk of bipartisanship, even if it eventually carries a few policies/laws with it that I don't agree with.

C'mon, do you really want four more years of extreme partisanship? I sure as hell don't.

Posted by Hernandez | January 30, 2008 1:00 PM

Arduous, read Annie's rebuttal. Take a look at ACTUAL bipartisan efforts in ACTUAL legislatures by both candidates. Obama several times secured strong majorities -- in one case a unanimous vote -- for unpopular leftie initiatives. Clinton sponsored a flag-burning amendment. Is that the kind of thing you're looking for more of?

Posted by Fnarf | January 30, 2008 1:09 PM

There's a reason why a certain column was named 5-4.

It's because most votes are more like 8-1 or 9-0.

Bipartisanship happens all the time - it just isn't news.

Posted by Will in Seattle | January 30, 2008 1:16 PM

@60. I read it, and it's a great rebuttal. Annie did a great job.

Posted by arduous | January 30, 2008 1:20 PM


Posted by sprizee | January 30, 2008 2:36 PM

question to hillary supporters; if she doesnt get the nomination will you vote for obama?

question to obama supporters; if he doesnt get the nomination will you vote for hillary?

hate to say it but i am willing to bet a lot more people go to mccain if it is hillary, than go to mccain if it is barack from the democratic side, including myself.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | January 30, 2008 4:03 PM

This is perhaps the lamest anti-Obama argument yet. This seems so obvious it's not worth posting, but here goes:

Yes, during the Bush years, with a Republican-controlled congress, "bipartisanship" generally favored the Republicans. So, what do we infer will happen with Obama as president and a Democratic-controlled congress? That Obama and the congress will continue to work on Bush-era conservative policies? Of fucking course not. Just as "bipartisanship" worked for the Republicans when they were in control (because they set the agenda), it will work for democrats when they are in control. Duh.

Posted by Mr Me | January 30, 2008 8:38 PM

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