Where did all the Bipartisanship go?

By Alberto Pupo

Where is the bipartisanship? The spirit of reaching across the aisle and working together? Political Commentators and journalists are always wistfully asking these questions waxing poetic about this mythical time. There seems to be a pattern among the mainstream or “political center” that there is no cooperation among the parties and that we bipartisanshipas a people are terribly divided. What is the cause for this division? What is the esoteric key? The answer is actually quite mind numbingly simple, it is all about the power.


Let’s face it Conservatives live for power. It is interesting to see the mood change in the conservative movement the moment that the President was no longer one of them. Suddenly gone is the hurray Nationalism and pride that permeated throughout the Bush administration. Suddenly media outlets and conservative commentators and politicians find themselves on the outside looking in.


Conservatives quite frankly have a hard time cooperating when they are not the ones with the ultimate decision. Take a look at the last thirty years or so. The Reagan era was hailed by many as one of agreement and harmony. Individuals speak nostalgically of Tip O’Neill and Reagan as they used to hold hands and hug through”bipartisan agreement”. But note all concessions were made because ultimately it was Reagan’s world. Fast forward to the Clinton Administration, and suddenly the dirty talk of government shutdown becomes a reality.


In a more contemporary example let us compare and contrast the last 13 years. During the Bush era conservatives were “proud to be Americans.” The presidency was respected and conservatives wanted us to be united against the enemy. Well this era of “good feelings” came crashing down with the election of President Obama. With this new President everything for the las t 6 years has been one episode in infantile obstruction after the other. Suddenly there was no sense of unity and government was once again evil. So what caused this sudden seismic shift. Well it was all about the loss of the White House.


Conservatives do not like to lose power or control. Any time they lose an important source of power like the executive Branch, it is a catalyst for irrational reactions. Suddenly like a three year old throwing a temper tantrum nothing satisfies them. There is no longer a sense of cooperation and the longer that they remain out of the seat of power the worse the tantrum gets. This is why we had the Government shutdown. This is why the legislative process is at a crawl. All of this is one big tantrum just because they do not have the White House. Essentially the only way to get cooperation from the Right is by allowing them that seat of power, because only when they are empowered do they cooperate.


The mainstream media continues to pretend to be baffled. The answer to the lack of bipartisanship is right before them but to acknowledge it they would have to admit that the Right-Wing does not care for our country, but rather only care about one thing power plain and simple.

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