by Jeffery Rendall
The late Senator John McCain was laid to rest a little over two weeks ago. In the time since there’s been much discussion concerning one of his most passionate lifelong political causes, namely bringing both parties together to “compromise” on legislation and act in a bipartisan manner.
Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings began a couple days after McCain’s burial, and had McCain witnessed personally his Democrat senator colleagues’ atrocious Judiciary Committee behavior he would’ve been astonished at their depravity. On the GOP side you had Republicans complimenting Kavanaugh on his stellar judicial record and certifiable qualifications to serve on the high Court. On the Democrat side there were endless objections and tacit approval of the leftist protesters’ constant interruptions and incitements to violence.
There’s little doubt the legitimacy of the American system is at stake these days. Is coming together the answer? And is “bipartisanship” even possible anymore?
Some seem to think so, and according to them such a kumbaya moment is essential to moving forward as a country. (Democrat) David L. Mercer and (Republican) Chris C. Reid wrote at The Hill, “Contrary to the current national mood, bipartisanship is not lost to posterity. In fact, President Obama worked with Republicans in Congress to extend the Bush Tax Cuts, and to pass the bipartisan JOBS Act, despite general partisan opposition focused on making Obama a one-term president.
“Often, legislation that is passed with the most bipartisan consensus is the most likely to endure with longevity.
“On this note, we encourage President Donald Trump to work with the next Speaker – whoever that may be – to craft solutions to the challenges of the entire nation. Bipartisan success starts with a leader who sets the tone, shows good faith, and resists the temptation to play one side off of another.”
As examples of bipartisan successes Mercer and Reid cited the 1986 tax reform compromise hammered out between President Reagan and his Democrat opponents under then-Speaker Tip O’Neill (allegedly because both were Irish they felt a kinship with each other), and the welfare reform measures passed a decade later by the Republican Congress (led by Newt Gingrich) and reluctantly signed into law by President Bill Clinton.
The pols spoke glowingly about the effectiveness of bipartisan collaboration and called on current lawmakers to join the “Problem solvers caucus” patterned after the ideologically nebulous and wishy-washy No Labels group. Mercer and Reid also demanded the media end its fixation with fostering division and instead start producing reports of productive bipartisan efforts.
Sounds great, doesn’t it? Perhaps Mercer and Reid should pitch their ideas at the next gathering of the Congressional Black Caucus and call on its members to quit hyperventilating over ousting President Trump and work with him because he’ll be in the White House for at least two more years and their incessant inane partisan jockeying is not only counterproductive, it’s incredibly divisive. That’s the opposite of “bipartisanship,” right?
Perhaps the CBC’s Maxine Waters should speak to the last time she worked with a Republican to do anything. Here’s thinking if Waters shared an elevator with Paul Ryan today — or any other GOP representative — she’d purposely push ever single floor button just to annoy the stuffing out of them.
And how about Nancy Pelosi? The Democrat House Minority Leader’s too preoccupied with dissing every Republican proposal to lower herself to attend inter-party meetings and haggle over numbers and bill language. Over in the upper chamber Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is even worse than Pelosi; the New Yorker’s regularly employed every procedural trick at his disposal to stall and thwart legislation that hints of a political victory for the GOP.
The main problem with Mercer and Reid’s argument is one side is clearly responsible for the preponderance of outlandish partisan grandstanding (hint: it ain’t the one holding majorities in both houses of Congress and the White House). It doesn’t need repeating Democrats don’t do much these days other than snipe at Donald Trump and try to think up new and creative ways to retake the majority in the House and Senate.
Put another way, Democrats are only hard at work calculating the length of rope they’ll need for the gallows they’re constructing. They’re too consumed to cooperate with Republicans.
Democrats want the House back because they hope to ramp up the baseless investigations into 2016 election meddling with the ultimate goal of removing President Trump. Democrats similarly pray for control of the Senate so they can effectively block all of Trump’s judicial nominations for the next two years. That’s it, period. Game, set, match on the notion the parties would ever fulfill McCain’s dream of sitting across the negotiating table from each other and come away with something resembling a compromise agreement…on anything.
Preeminent Founding Father George Washington is remembered for railing against the “evils of faction” but since the establishment of the American republic there’ve been all too few others who disdained party labels to further the notion of “getting things done.” It’s certainly arguable the Civil War was caused by sectional partisanship because the southern/slave states wouldn’t accept less than equal representation with northern/free states in the Senate.
Even back then Democrats weren’t great at compromise. Southern Democrats held the slaves, seceded from the Union and resisted reunification once the fighting ceased. Democrats were then responsible for founding the Ku Klux Klan and instituting Jim Crow laws. 20th Century Democrats imprisoned U.S. citizens of Japanese ancestry during WW II; then they opposed the civil rights movement.
The truth is partisanship’s as American as baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet. There’ve been periods of history with relative unanimity but such occasions are rare and typically wrap around a major national catastrophe… wars, etc.
This isn’t to imply conservatives and Republicans have always been enthusiastic about reaching across the aisle, but there just aren’t any Democrat hands waiting to greet them these days. During his eight years in office Ronald Reagan never had a Republican House Speaker but still enjoyed a “working majority” in the chamber nonetheless, basically because southern Democrats at the time were still somewhat fiscally conservative. Now even Democrats from conservative red states are every bit as liberal as their northern counterparts.
Wasn’t Alabama Democrat Senator Doug Jones supposed to be “centrist” and “open-minded”? Once Jones was sworn in he came under Schumer’s influence and hasn’t since been recognized as “moderate” (isn’t there a lesson here for this year’s Tennessee U.S. Senate race?). If it weren’t true shouldn’t Jones be considered a possible vote for Judge Kavanaugh?
Hardly. And Democrats showed exactly how they felt about “bipartisanship” through their silent sitting protests during President Trump’s State of the Union Address in January. Democrats sat stone-faced and placid even through standard “America is the best country in the world”-type applause lines. Patriotism doesn’t even rouse the socialism-loving opposition party now.
Trump wanted “bipartisan” compromise on illegal immigration as well, offering amnesty for DACA recipients in exchange for building the border wall and reasonable reforms to the existing legal immigration system. Democrats wouldn’t have any of it, horrified at the prospect of sacrificing their signature campaign issue.
So who’s to blame? Everyone, really. But Democrats are singularly responsible for today’s lack of progress. Everything is political to them. To “resist” is to live and hope for a day when they’ll manipulate the levers of power. Until that time, they’ll continue the partisan stonewalling.
There are a multitude of signs it’s getting worse, too. Debra Heine wrote at PJ Media, “As America heads toward the final months of the president’s second year in office, Trump Derangement Syndrome seems to be reaching epidemic levels across the country. Those affected by the disorder are so consumed by their hatred of the president that they feel driven to attack him or anyone they deem to be in support of him. TDS was a huge problem shortly after President Trump was elected. It’s becoming a serious issue again.
“For those of you keeping score, in just the past couple of weeks, we’ve seen a knife attack on a Republican congressional candidate in California, a threat of mass murder against supporters of President Donald Trump gathering at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., a GOP office in Wyoming attacked by an arsonist, and a conservative journalist going into hiding after receiving serious death threats.”
In her article Heine relayed the details of each of the incidents. Frequent Fox News viewers see these types of reports but the mainstream establishment media’s silence would have everyone believing Trump’s tweets and occasional non-presidential decorum is what forces people over the mental edge.
The incident in Wyoming is especially disturbing considering The Equality State is one of the most conservative and Republican in the country. If vandals feel empowered to firebomb a Republican office in Albany County, they could strike anywhere. Further, above the affected office is a private residence. Putting two and two together, the leftist miscreants who attacked must have known they were attempting to murder someone. For what, politics?
Heine also passed on the sorry tale of a college professor who shot himself in the arm to protest Trump. No exaggeration. She reported, “On his show … conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh proposed that mental health facilities be reopened to take care this epidemic of TDS sufferers. And he was only half joking.
“’We don’t need prison reform. We need massive mental health reform,’ El Rushbo said. ‘We need to put back all of those state mental health facilities that have been shut down and open them for any leftist that wants to admit himself. They’re going crazy! This guy shot himself in the bathroom to protest Trump! This guy’s a professor. He’s teaching kids!’”
Perhaps my memory fails but I don’t recall any similar incidents of conservatives or Republicans intentionally putting a bullet in their arm to protest Obama’s excesses, and, if a Democrat campaign office had been blown up and Obama campaign paraphernalia destroyed the national media would’ve plastered it all over the news for weeks as proof of rampant racism targeted at the first black president.
It’s kind of hard to be “bipartisan” when Democrat-loving freaks want to harm you, isn’t it? And we haven’t even mentioned James Hodgkinson, the infamous Bernie Sanders touting leftist who launched his own personal suicide mission against Republican members of Congress at a baseball diamond (in Alexandria, Virginia) last summer. Hodgkinson was stopped short of mass murder only by the bravery of two heroic Capitol Hill cops and their firearms.
Rep. Steve Scalise almost died in the attack. Do Democrats even remember? Is there a similar illustration of a Republican Trump supporter attempting to take out a park full of liberals (and no, one white supremacist malefactor driving his vehicle into a crowd in Charlottesville doesn’t count)?
Sometimes the acute Trump disdain afflicts Trump supporters’ family members as well. Jessica Chasmar reported at The Washington Times, “Laura Ingraham’s estranged brother has declared war on the Fox News host, telling The Daily Beast on Wednesday that he thinks she’s a ‘monster’ who is incapable of empathy.
“Curtis Ingraham said that while he no longer keeps in contact with his sister, he felt the need to speak out now in order to restore his ‘own sanity’ in the divisive political climate under President Trump. ‘Our country has been thrown into this divisive state. So now I feel like I have got to speak out, I’ve got to speak out for my own sanity,’ he told The Daily Beast in a phone interview. ‘I think she’s a monster,’ he said repeatedly.
“’She’s very smart, she’s well-spoken, but her emotional heart is just kind of dead,’ he added. ‘And you see it in her face when you see her on TV. She’s ready to destroy. She does not listen to understand – she listens to respond. And her response is always an attack.’”
Needless to say it appears Laura and Curtis won’t be seated at the same family dining table at Thanksgiving this year. It’s one thing to have family disagreements over politics, it’s quite another to accuse your sister of being an emotionless “monster” just because she backs Donald Trump and/or his policies.
Laura Ingraham was gracious in her response to her brother’s accusations, saying she and her siblings still care for Curtis even though they’ve been estranged for many years. It’s a sad commentary when we can’t even sit down and break bread with relatives who disagree with us. Everyone wishes the problem would solve itself, but how?
You can’t blame dreamers for believing it’s still possible for Democrats and Republicans to work together to solve America’s pressing problems, but the immature antics of one party indicates otherwise. Politics isn’t exactly a collegial undertaking any longer – it’s more like Bloodsport.