The Old Bipartishanship Ruse

"We need ... leaders who look out at America and see not an electorate to be sliced and diced and pitted against each other, but citizens who want to do great things together." --John Kerry, endorsing Sen. Obama

All those "great things" are, to be sure, finely pictured in the platform of the Democratic Party.

That's what bugs me about the appeal to bipartisanship: it's too often unrepresentative of the speaker's true agenda. Furthermore, it's usually presumptuous and condescending. No two people see the world the same way, there are real conflicts of opinion out there -- and that's alright. It's annoying to have some Washington suit not only belittle but flat-out dismiss legitimate differences just to sound enlightened, particularly when you know that said talking-head actually wants nothing to do with the other side's vision (which is, duh, entirely contrived to begin with).

For the record, I do believe there are national goals that can and should be pursued by the two parties working hand in hand to some degree. Similarly, there are certain issues that are best considered in a non-partisan light. A large plurality of Americans are not of (or for?) either political cult, and even many card-carriers are moderates who could sit with relative comfort on either side of the aisle. This reality means that a rigid red state/blue state, us vs. them mentality is not just unproductive, but unrealistic. It'd be nice for the hacks and die-hards to see this, and quit doggedly forcing every last detail of their philosophy on the rest of the nation.

However, some fights must be fought. In fact, a lot of fights must be fought. Because there aren't enough room for too many Big Ideas, not in the end. And this is common knowledge and common sense, which is why 75% of bipartisan talk is calculated nonsense that we can do without.

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