Jonathan Chait laments the Broderization of American politics.
Bloomberg has … become the most prominent example of what you could call partisanship scolds. These are people who believe that disagreement is the central problem in U.S. politics, that both parties are to blame in equal measure, and that rejecting party ties or ideology is synonymous with the demonstration of virtue. While partisanship scolds believe that they stand in bold contrast to Washington, they are probably more heavily represented among the Beltway elite than any other demographic.
The official lobby of the partisanship scolds is a group called “Unity ‘08″ — a collection of graying eminences from both parties who are calling for a bipartisan presidential ticket, perhaps led by Bloomberg. Their rhetoric appears to be targeted at people who enjoy kittens, rainbows, and David Broder columns. Specifically, Unity ‘08 says its ticket will run on “ideas and traditions which unite and empower us as individuals and as a people.”
And if people didn’t have sincere disagreements over policy, this approach might even have value.
What I see in American Politics today is the outright refusal of one side to even talk with the other.As long as one side has the majority, there doesn’t appear to be any reason to discuss policy with the minority. Even though merging ideas may produce a better policy. But then you would have to admit that your original policy wasn’t perfect to start with. And that’s a b-a-a-a-a-d thing.
One of our local state representatives remarks that when he first went to Denver, one of his majority neighbors across the aisle asked why he even bothered to show up. Of course, now, his neighbor isn’t in the majority.
I think the problem isn’t politics, but the total lack of it that is causing the legislative problems people perceive.