Monday, December 24, 2007

Proud Member of the Opposition

At times I grow very tired of the word "bipartisan." Especially when parsing national politics. The importance of reaching across the isle pales in comparison to true representation and smart policy.

Nothing in particular makes me write about this other than a nicely worded post from MyDD's Natasha Chart that summed it up nicely, say I. She responds to the focus on bipartisanship from candidates, their supporters, and various bloggers who worked for Howard Dean in '04.

How's that again? I, for one, don't remember supporting Dean because he was bipartisan. Or because I thought he was the most progressive candidate. I supported him because he called out the fundamentalist takeover of our national dialogue, because he wanted to know what so many Democrats were doing supporting stupid Republican policies. I supported him because he was a partisan Democrat who knew how to sound like a member of the opposition and didn't attack other Democrats, liberals or progressives from the right. He knew what side he was on, even when he said that he wanted to appeal to Republican voters because he thought he could better protect their interests.
Taking Utah as an example, how often have you heard our Republican representatives decry the importance of bipartisanship? Nationally, how often did you hear of it before 2006? Stick a few more Democrats in the mix, challenge their stranglehold on progressive policies, and suddenly they can't get enough of fairness and compromise.

It's just more empty rhetoric to confuse and distract. We're not fighting for compromise, we're fighting for better leadership.

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