“A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” James 1:8
Bipartisan. The word that constrantly drips like honey from the lips of the buzzing political folks seems so harmless at first glance. When every politician calls for it and every reporter celebrates it as the highest virtue, one might think that the sole purpose of politics is to be one with your opponent. Suddenly your own ideology is out and you are engulfed in the warm and fuzzy embrace of compromise.
While a certain amount of political compromise is to be expected, the hip new version of bipartisanship says to throw your political beliefs into the wind and see which way the ideological detritus is blowing. Principles and core beliefs are sacrificed on the altar of power. Ideology and rhetoric are no longer a foundational anchor but rather an empty train upon which to commute to power. They are no longer the destination, but simply the mode of transportation to the cesspool of political corruption known as Washngton D.C.
On this one, President-elect Barack Obama seems to have started off right. By appointing former Clinton counsel and current congressman Rahm Emanuel as his White House Chief of Staff, Obama has signaled that he’s heading to Washington to lead.
That’s not a bad thing. I applaud Obama’s choice. The reality is that Obama won an overwhelming electoral college victory and has the massive majorities in both houses to prove it. The Democrats are in charge. Now is the time to advance their agenda. The leftward slant of American political life should begin full speed ahead once the new president is sworn in. A plethora of Executive Orders, massive new liberal legislation, liberal activist judicial appointments, massive worldwide retreat of our military and influence. We are, after all, citizens of the world and the media is promising that President Obama will bring about world peace. Cue Louie Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World.”
As a solidly conservative citizen of America rather than of the world, I detest the calls for bipartisanship. John McCain made that argument and lost. Biparisanship to me is a dirty word. It is a whore that seduces leaders more interested in advancing themselves than they are of a political agenda. It is also a powerful sterilization tool used on conservatives by the liberals and their sycophantic lapdogs in the mainstream media. It works every time it’s tried.
Consider the last 3 Republican presidents. Ronald Reagan is clearly the most successful of the 3. He did give in to the seduction of bipartisanship, but not often. He succeeded when he called the shots and promoted a new, bold conservative vision for America. He rose from the ashes of the party of the politically moderate Gerald Ford, a man of compromise and immense bipartisanship. He triumphed four years after a national defeat. He came. He saw. He lead. He then presided over the greatest peace time expansion of our economy and successfully brought the Cold War to an end.
None of that came about by bipartisanship. Sure, some conservative Democrats voted for his agenda, but he set the agenda and they followed. The one thing that was birthed out of the womb of bipartisanship was the 1986 immigration reform that granted widespread amnesty and did nothing to stop the flow of illegals into this country. Way to go bipartisanship!
President George H.W. Bush was seduced by bipartisanship as well. His famous offspring of bipartisanship was the “read my lips” debacle. Kindly and trusting President Bush hammered out a deal with Democrats in congress to cut spending and raise taxes. President Bush kept his part of the deal and raised taxes. No real spending cut ensued. Slick Willie and Hillary took office four years later to the tune of “it’s the economy, stupid!” You rock bipartisanship!
President George W. Bush entered office like Teddy Ruxpin (the soft-spoken cuddly teddy bear from the 1980s.) He invited Uncle Teddy “Don’t Drive Drunk” Kennedy to the White House for dinner and a movie. He reached across party lines. He tried to change the tone. He ended up presiding over the largest spending increase of the federal government since LBJ. Three cheers for bipartisanship!
Certainly the checks and balances of our governmental system calls for some bipartisanship. It is, however, a necessary evil, and not as some would suggest, the highest attainable virtue.
There are two parties for a reason. There are two competing views of America and public policy. American voters make their decisions based on those alleged visions for America as espoused by our candidates. We expect those candidates to carry out those policies when they magically morph from candidate to government official. We hold them accountable when they don’t.
The Republicans in congress and the Bush administration were not done in by the failure of their conservative policies. They were done in by compromise that, when given time to fully mature, developed into full-scale political capitulation. They were not entrusted with the mandate to be nice to Democrats and grow the size of government. They abandoned the sanctity of their core beliefs for the fleeting love of bipartisanship.
President-elect Barack Obama gets this. He intends to rightfully advance his left-leaning agenda from day one. This is his time. This is his moment in history. He doesn’t need the GOP to help him.
What’s that sound? Why that’s the heard of RINOs already lining up at the trough of power under the guise of bipartisanship. Truthfully, that stampede began when “conservatives” began earning bipartisan medals by despicably trashing accomplished conservative Governor Sarah Palin in hopes of giving Chris Matthews a leg-tingling thrill.
The new advance of liberal policies gives the conservative movement a tremendous opportunity. The Republican party needs to become the conservative party once again. They need to stand for something in both word and deed. They need spines of steel, not linguini. They need to advance a bold, fresh conservative agenda for America insead of retreating into the embrace of reduced calorie liberalism.
They need more than anything else, to lead. The American people will follow us if we lead them. Why do so many of us constantly refer back to Ronald Reagan over and over again? Because actions speak louder than words. Because Ronald Reagan led us. He didn’t need to be prodded. He didn’t embrace the role of the “lesser of two evils.”
Ronald Reagan, and it would appear Barack Obama, understand that a double minded man is unstable. Does “I did vote for the 87 billion before I voted against it” sound stable to you? You can’t claim to be for less government and accountability while presiding over a smorgasbord of government pork, scandal, and corruption. You can’t lead with your tail between your legs. You cannot serve both America and Keith Olbermann.
Now is the time to celebrate bold conservative leaders like Governor Sarah Palin, Governor Bobby Jindal, Rep. Mike Pence, Rep. Eric Cantor and others like them who boldly advance the conservative agenda without apology. Turn them loose and let them lead us the way Ronald Reagan did in 1980 and Newt Gingrich did in 1994.
America is looking for leadership not compromise. We can do better than simply slowing the liberal agenda. Today can be the start of the next great conservative revolution. We must seek our “rendezvous with destiny” not a another meaningless tryst with bipartisanship. America will be better for it.
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City on a Hill Political Observer