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The End of Bi-Partisanship

Posted Sunday, April 22, 2012, at 11:23 AM

Partisanship has taken over in our political system over the last twenty years. While most liberals would likely point to the election and re-election of President Reagan and then the election and re-election of President George W. Bush, most conservatives typically point to the election and re-election of President Clinton and (especially) the election of President Obama.

I do not think that it can be as simple as finger pointing at past (or current) presidents.

Some people point at the caustic and sometimes damning talk radio. Again simply blaming talking heads for the partisanship just does not fully answer the question as to what ended bi-partisanship. As long as there has been radio and television there has been someone using time on them to spread their particular view point.

There is a starting point, however, that can be looked at.

On June 1, 1980 Ted Turner premiered CNN to the American populace. It was the first of what become many cable channels that provided 24-hour news coverage. I am not putting the blame on CNN, however. The blame lies with the advent of 24 news hour cycles. There became a rush to be the first one to break a story.

On October 7, 1996 Rupert Murdoch launched the Fox News Channel and the race was on. For the first time channels were competing to put out political stories. Every political story was treated as a breaking news story worthy of Watergate proportions.

The talking heads who had long been relegated to radio stations (whether it be local or national) now had a truly national way to reach the masses. People began to be put into two camps. Instead of what was once a Democrat or a Republican not became a Liberal or a Conservative.

This country has largely been run from the middle of the political spectrum. Through 1960 there had really not been very many truly partisan presidents. The most notorious was Franklin Roosevelt. However, since that time we have had several presidents in their runs for office have affiliated with what is considered the base of their party.

After their election they have normally tended to run their office from the middle. George H.W. Bush did so as did Clinton.

President Obama has attempted to run from the middle but most of his policies either end up slightly to the left of the middle (which annoys Republicans) or slightly to the right of the middle (which annoys Democrats).

Many people have called the 2012 a historical election (mostly for partisan political reasons). I agree with them to an extent. Watching Mitt Romney completely change his beliefs (some which he held as late as two years ago) to placate what is considered the base of the Republican Party has been extraordinary. It will be interesting whether he will be able to pull himself back to the middle by the general election or if he will stay as far right as he has portrayed himself to be.

It will definitely be an interesting next couple of months.

Where we have seen the most partisanship in politics in Congress where politicians on both sides have continuously voted against issues that they once supported because it is what their party wanted them to do. It will be interesting to see if in November the electorate choose to stay with the partisans or elect a new group of politicians that will actually work together for the interests of all Americans and not the interests of the party or special interests.


Comments
Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

Mike, I fear you address 'middle' as if it were a fixed position, between existing concepts of thought, half, of the balance, on one side, and the other half on the other side (like a teeter-totter). I must disagree. there are a number of 'middles' in the pie, at least three, but we normally only look at the one that belongs to 'our' individual viewpoint, not the 'other's.'

Take a circle, draw a line, exactly through the center, so exactly half and half exists. place an 'L,' in one half, and a 'C' in the other half. That is the picture you just painted.

Now, to the side, a short distance into each half, freehand another line (do the blue and red thing, if you wish). The imperfection of these lines are what each side sees as 'their own' middle, with the space between the two freehand lines, 'suspect' territory (anyone there, can be either friend or foe).

With that picture in mind, and a bit of imagination, one can see that 'middle' is determined by the viewpoint visualizing that 'middle,' and has nothing to do with 'true center.' These, 'middle lines,' are fluid in relation to true center, based on how one wishes to view the attitude of self, or opponent.

You tend to view 'partisanship' just as distorted, as you would believe I view the same thought, or whatever, being viewed. I, too, believe the same of your view.

Using the letter 'S,' to denote the Presidents rule, to date, your side would tack the rest of the 'S' word, as being something like 'Stabilization of the system,' where from my view, I see 'Socialism personified.'

That difference in opinion makes agreement difficult, and it is only through the 'proof of the pudding' we find truth, perhaps too late to rectify.

-- Posted by Navyblue on Sun, Apr 22, 2012, at 2:03 PM

Mike - I agree with you regarding the news cycle. It has been a net big Negative and I do think that type of access is bad for judgement.

Your reference to this being a "Historic Election" annoys me but isn't your fault. Most "24 hr news junkies" have taken to such claims on everything these days. Every election is historic. I realize you aren't calling this Historic so I am not coming after you.

Where we continue to disagree is who we could vote for. You are a Socialist, therefore you are always going to vote Democrat. So by definition you are Partisan. I have voted for Democrats before and I could actually vote for a Mike Ross Democrat in the future.

So a good question would be "Is CNN the reason you are so close minded?"

Wallis

-- Posted by wallismarsh on Sun, Apr 22, 2012, at 3:38 PM

Once again Wallis you believe you know everything about me and once again come off completely wrong. I am not a socialist, I am a liberal.

I have voted for non-Democratic candidates in the past before and I will more than likely do so in the future.

The big difference between yourself and me is that I admit to being partisan, yet you continually want people to believe that you are non-partisan.

Nice name dropping with Mike Ross, though, even if he isn't in my district. My district has been represented by a Republican since I came back to Arkansas.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Sun, Apr 22, 2012, at 5:51 PM

I apologize for any confusion I caused you Navy, but I have addressed what the middle constitutes in my mind of this site before. I just assumed you remembered.

The middle in this country actually encompasses a large majority of Americans. Just as there are at least three segments of Liberals and Conservatives there are at least three levels of what can be considered moderation.

However, among the most constant commentators on this site (myself included) none fall within what can be considered the middle. They are either far left of that center or far right. This isn't meant as a slam against you or any other poster, simply observation.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Sun, Apr 22, 2012, at 5:56 PM

You wrote in one of your blogs that you were a Socialist Mike. I am just repeating it.

I am a pro-business voter. Whoever is best for a strong American business environment is who I vote for.

I could care less what party that person belonged to.

Does voting for a strong economy make me Partisan???

Wallis

-- Posted by wallismarsh on Sun, Apr 22, 2012, at 6:07 PM

Michael,

Interesting that just the other day you were the model of moderation, wanting to "coexist" with all.

"I do have question your first statement where you proclaim that I am not in tune with most people as my comment avatar proudly proclaims. My comment avatar says coexist. So you are saying that most people do not believe in coexisting. Sounds more like an extreme statement which would completely contradict your later statement that you are in the middle with most people."

But today you are once again a partisan in an extreme position. Why is it that a person who proudly proclaims to be partisan has the gall to bemoan the "the end of bi-partisanship"? Shouldn't you be happy? Or would you only be happy when your party controls all?

Funny how when partisans complain about a lack of bi-partisanship they do so by complaining how the other side won't play nice.

Even here, when Conservative partisans point to the end they point to Clinton and Obama but they are clearly centrists according to you. When Liberals point to the end they point to Reagan and G.W. Bush who I surmise you agree didn't govern from the center.

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Sun, Apr 22, 2012, at 9:29 PM

We shouldn't try to fool ourselves, the only bibartisan agreement is to disagree and to blame each other, period. This blog and the comments are proof.

-- Posted by Keda46 on Mon, Apr 23, 2012, at 10:09 AM

Wallis,

If Michael says he is not a socialist I believe him. Unlike Michael, I try to respect other people's self classifications. Can you cite where he said he was a socialist?

Michael,

Wallis raised an interesting thought hopefully you will answer. Since you HAVE said you are extremely liberal, how much farther left and what differences do you see between yourself and a socialist?

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Mon, Apr 23, 2012, at 12:55 PM

Michael,

I think partisan politics has existed as long as people have held opinions.

Alexander Hamilton was actually killed in a duel with Aaron Burr during the campaign for governor of New York in 1804. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/duel/people...

Andrew Jackson got more votes than John Quincy Adams or Henry Clay, but the House of Representatives named Adams president in 1824. How much more partisan can it get? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Jack...

Jackson ran again in 1828 as candidate of the Democratic Party; his opponents called him "jackass" and that's how the donkey became the symbol of the party. His wife, Rachel, was accused of bigamy by his enemies!

Jackson, by the way, paid off the national debt--the only time that has been accomplished in the nation's history.

Is there something essentially wrong with being partisan? In essence lining up with those in agreement with your valued principles?

I think not. How else can it be?

-- Posted by JohnGalt1968 on Mon, Apr 23, 2012, at 5:17 PM

I scanned some of the old blogs. Some are "gone".

In one Mike said he is a left wing liberal but there was one where he said he was a true Socialist. If he has taken it down he can call me a liar.

I did find the one where he said he is a buddhist. Kind of funny, I also thought he has called himself a Christian. Maybe I made that up to.

So for the record (as to blogs I can find) Mike is a Left Wing Buddhist Liberal who is writing a blog on bi-partisanship.

I guess it is pretty easy to see why this Christian Capitalist disagrees with that so often.

Wallis

P.S. Mike my memory is pretty good so I know you wrote you were a Socialist. I have no interest in scanning the blogs but some of the blogs that are gone were interesting.

-- Posted by wallismarsh on Tue, Apr 24, 2012, at 8:44 PM

As a point of reference, I live in Houston and am in a global business. I am friends with Jews, Muslims, Hindu's and many more faith's. I am also friends with people from Europe, Iran, Iraq, Jordan and many other countries.

I was not attempting to be critical of buddhist. Just pointing out that Mike and I have a lot of differences.

It is odd that both of us grew up in Arkansas and graduated from MHS and yet can see the world so differently.

Wallis

-- Posted by wallismarsh on Wed, Apr 25, 2012, at 7:48 AM

wallismarsh wrote: It is odd that both of us grew up in Arkansas and graduated from MHS and yet can see the world so differently.

Let me guess, just maybe one had a Judah christian upbringing, the other a liberal professor upbringing .Damn that was hard , I don't know how I got threw that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-- Posted by Keda46 on Thu, Apr 26, 2012, at 8:54 PM

I know, I know Through, h |θroō|

preposition & adverb

1 moving in one side and out of the other side of (an opening, channel, or location) : [as prep. ] stepping boldly through the doorway | [as adv. ] as soon as we opened the gate, they came streaming through.

* so as to make a hole or opening in (a physical object) : [as prep. ] the truck smashed through a brick wall | [as adv. ] a cucumber, slit, but not all the way through.

* moving around or from one side to the other within (a crowd or group) : [as prep. ] making my way through the guests.

* so as to be perceived from the other side of (an intervening obstacle) : [as prep. ] the sun was streaming in through the window | [as adv. ] the glass in the front door where the moonlight streamed through.

* [ prep. ] expressing the position or location of something beyond or at the far end of (an opening or an obstacle) : the approach to the church is through a gate.

* expressing the extent of turning from one orientation to another : [as prep. ] each joint can move through an angle within fixed limits.

2 continuing in time toward completion of (a process or period) : [as prep. ] he showed up halfway through the second act | [as adv. ] to struggle through until payday.

* so as to complete (a particular stage or trial) successfully : [as prep. ] she had come through her sternest test | [as adv. ] I will struggle through alone rather than ask for help.

* from beginning to end of (an experience or activity, typically a tedious or stressful one) : [as prep. ] we sat through some very boring speeches | she's been through a bad time | [as adv. ] Karl will see you through, Ingrid.

3 so as to inspect all or part of (a collection, inventory, or publication) : [as prep. ] flipping through the pages of a notebook | [as adv. ] she read the letter through carefully.

4 [ prep. ] up to and including (a particular point in an ordered sequence) : they will be in town from March 24 through May 7.

5 [ prep. ] by means of (a process or intermediate stage) : dioxins get into mothers' milk through contaminated food.

* by means of (an intermediary or agent) : seeking justice through the proper channels.

6 [ adv. ] so as to be connected by telephone : he put a call through to the senator.

adjective

1 [ attrib. ] (of a means of public transportation or a ticket) continuing or valid to the final destination : a through train from Boston.

2 [ attrib. ] denoting traffic that passes from one side of a place to another in the course of a longer journey : neighborhoods from which through traffic would be excluded.

* denoting a road that is open at both ends, allowing traffic free passage from one end to the other : the shopping center is on a busy through road.

3 [ attrib. ] (of a room) running the whole length of a building.

4 [ predic. ] informal having no prospect of any future relationship, dealings, or success : she told him she was through with him | you and I are through.

PHRASES

through and through in every aspect; thoroughly or completely : Harriet was a political animal through and through.

ORIGIN Old English thurh (preposition and adverb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch door and German durch. The spelling change to thr- appears c. 1300, becoming standard from Caxton onward.

-- Posted by Keda46 on Thu, Apr 26, 2012, at 9:19 PM

Bipartisanship Lives!!!!!

The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act passed by the house with bipartisan support. I don't know anything about it, but interesting that when people say there is no bipartisanship, there are examples where people can come together. Kinda makes me sad thinking about the angle people trying to divide are working.

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Fri, Apr 27, 2012, at 9:33 AM

I blame the vain for what we wear,

And I blame the blind when we can't see.

I blame it all on someone else,

Till there's nobody left, then I just blame me.

I Wonder what the message is ?

-- Posted by Keda46 on Tue, May 1, 2012, at 1:58 AM

Maybe we should donate to Jeff Van Stelton to assist his wife's travel expenses. This Trooper is the frontline for Nebraska against the items you discuss. Gorilla? Illegals from Colorado/Mexico invading our state. Help this family. Match my $100 donation to:

Jeff Van Stelton Fund

McCook National Bank

220 Norris Ave.

(308) 345-4240

-- Posted by Online on Wed, May 2, 2012, at 5:33 PM

I completely agree about the TV cable stations changing things. I used to think it was for the worse but I'm not sure anymore. I haven't watched the network news or the CNN since 1995 or so. I've never watched MSNBC. I do watch Fox news when I watch the news. I have come to like the choices. I have Libertarian views and never get the winner in the primaries. I voted for Steve Forbes twice (because of the flat tax) and for Ron Paul twice. I do believe that fair taxes are the key component to freedom,after all that's why we fought the American Revolution, so I have always voted for the Republican nominee. If Hillary Clinton would have gotten the nomination in 2008 I wouldn't have voted because I viewed her and John McCain as the same. Obama,on the other hand, is a socialist. I'll vote for Romney for that reason and that reason alone.

-- Posted by edwardLmarsh on Sun, May 6, 2012, at 5:45 PM

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/...

I do believe that the Obama camp lied and he wasn't really born in Kenya. My comment was always he needs to show his birth certificate. Which he did after 3 years.

Mike you called a lot of people a lot of nasty things because they referenced published bio info that Obama himself allowed to misrepresent.

I guess you were guilty of doing the least amount of due diligence.

In this instance, since the President and his people lied for so long, the only to resolve this was to show the birth certificate. But his perjury will live on. Talk about Trust and Transparency issues.

Wallis

-- Posted by wmarsh on Fri, May 18, 2012, at 6:57 AM

I had a funny joke for you guys, but nothing tops the "article" above, so I digress... lil Mike, you know nothing about "Bi-partisanship" or how it began or may end. There is no "us vs. them"...Mitt, Barrack, George W... doesn't really matter. Keep holding out hope your guy will make your life SO much better... LOL... Billions and BILLIONS are spent on elections.

Keep thinking your vote and the couple hundred dollars you chip into the pot matter and this conversation can go on for ever and ever and ever....

Revolution.

-- Posted by BisonAlum00 on Sun, May 20, 2012, at 12:29 AM


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