Expect the bonfires to be started for Ron Wyden. His heresy trial should begin any time now:

The message that many partisan activists want me and my congressional colleagues to take away from this week’s primaries and Utah’s recent GOP convention is that engaging in bipartisanship is tantamount to surrendering your political party’s most-prized principles. In fact, some in my party will undoubtedly criticize me for writing kind words about my friend Sen. Bob Bennett, just as some in Bob’s party thought that his working with a Democrat was sufficient grounds for losing his seat in the U.S Senate. In other words, many of the most committed activists believe that the only way for Republicans to win legislatively is for Democrats to lose, and vice versa.

Meanwhile on Capitol Hill, legislating is treated as if there is a giant congressional scoreboard that will ultimately determine which party gets to be in charge. What one side is for legislatively, the other is unalterably against. Many believe that is the only way to achieve clear victory.

If the activists in both parties get their way, that’s exactly how things will be, leaving most of the people in the country who are either pragmatic or disaffected effectively disenfranchised.

3 comments… add one
  • Drew Link

    I respectfully disagree. “Bipartisanship” has resulted in an inexorable 50 year trend of encroachment by government, the scope and magnitude of which was made stealthy only because of demographics.

    Now that latent realities are setting in, and the “in the light of day” reaction is quite vociferous, we have straw man calls for more “bipartisanship” and “practicality” with no acknowledgement of the value of core principles, or the need to correct prior errors. This is nothing more than a recipe for more of the same, which is unsustainable.

    To get hyperbolic: would there be calls for “bipartisanship” for extermination of the Jews? Is the answer to hold to core principles? Or to “compromise” and only kill half?

    You may think this an extreme example, but its the very same argument. Either principles matter, or they don’t.

  • steve Link

    I agree with Drew, principles matter. We need two political parties for whom principles matter. We should have a tax and spend party. We should have a cut taxes and cut spending party. Then, people can choose between principles, but both underlying principle sets will be fiscally responsible. That is not what we have now.


  • Andy Link

    I don’t think anyone is saying that principles don’t matter, but if one’s adherence to principle does not allow room to forge political compromises then one’s ability to accomplish anything goes away.

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