As American citizens, most of us realize that once a thing gets to Washington, it is always politicized. For bad or worse, this is acceptable in American politics, but only to a degree. There is a fine line which you cross at your peril, and this week, in their egregious politicization of the stimulus plan, the G.O.P. crossed it, and then crossed it again, and again, and, well, they aren't done yet.
PARTISANSHIP IS IN THE G.O.P. CREDO, FOR THE LOVE OF PURE RANCOR - PRESIDENT OBAMA MUST LIVE IN THE MIDDLE GROUND.
“We are trying to change the tones in the state capitals -- and turn them toward bitter nastiness and partisanship. Bipartisanship is another name for date rape.”
Prominent Republican, Grover Norquist¹, expressed his feelings about partisanship in an interview with the Denver Post in 2003. In his comparison of bipartisanship to date rape, he succinctly laid out the GOP take on bipartisanship. Yes, seriously, date rape. When the interview was published, the conservative tome, The Nation, publicly squealed in delight.
From Cliff Schecter, on finding the middle ground, as the Republicans hug partisanship close:
there is a middle ground between George Bush-style, temper-tantrum-laden Deciderism and reaching out to every atavistic crank and rightwing extremist with a colourful flag lapel pin and contempt for all objective discovery post-Copernicus. It is in this middle ground where the Obama administration must live.
In other words, there is no problem sitting down with the likes of George Will and John Boehner to try and charm the opposition - although I might recommend a full-body condom and inoculations just for safety's sake. But publicly expressing your wish for 80 votes in the Senate in favour of your economic stimulus bill (which means getting the votes of slightly more than half the Republican caucus) and agreeing to more and more tax cuts that only serve as a stimulus for those who have forgotten to take their erectile dysfunction pills in corporate boardrooms and conservative conference halls is too large a price to pay with an economy on the precipice.
¹Grover Norquist - Norquist, along with Bill Kristol, Ralph E. Reed, Jr., Clint Bolick, and David McIntosh, is one of the so-called "Gang of Five" identified in Nina Easton's 2000 book by that name, which gives a history of leaders of the modern (post-Goldwater) conservative movement.Norquist was one of the co-authors of the 1994 Contract with America.
Norquist is also a close friend of Karl Rove, and of Jack Abramoff. Indeed, Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform, sold their clout to Abramoff, and were tied to the Abramoff scandal. Jack Abramoff is currently incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) in Cumberland, Maryland.