Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Whither Thee Bipartisanship

I have read and listened a fair amount to political discussions / articles / podcasts. I think the most interesting ideas about Bipartisanship. or the lack thereof, are beginning to take form.

 Americans praise the idea of Bipartisanship, but often mean that the other side should agree with them. Was there ever a good bipartisan government in the country? And, if so, where did it go.

Well, there was. Often. Oddly, it came when the government control was overwhelmingly partisan.

After the Civil war (circa 1865) the Republicans dominated federal government for decades - until the Great Depression.  After the Great Depression until about the 1980s, Democrats dominated federal government.

In periods of domination, the opposing party is very willing to compromise, because that is the only way to get their interests included on laws that passed. So we had the less powerful party agree to compromise to get at least some of their ideas into the law.

However, since 1980, one party has NOT dominated politics. When the dominate party switches between Republicans and Democrats, then there is very little reason to compromise. If you compromise when you're out of power, you make the opposition look more reasonable. If you compromise when you are in power, you look weak.

There isn't a great answer here, unless something really bad happens. We, as Americans, often pull together when something bad happens.

A more devious sociopath President would simply attack Iran with nuclear weapons, or formulate an issue in the South China Sea.