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.

From the Carpetbagger Report via

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.

Aye, and there’s the rub…

“David is extremely principled and dedicated to doing what he feels is right, and can be a very tough customer when he perceives others as obstacles to achieving those goals,” Berenson said. “But it’s not personal in the sense that ‘I don’t like you.’ It’s all about the underlying principle.”

From a Washington Post Article

It is a fine and good thing when someone puts principle over personal good, especially in the public interest, to do what they feel is right and proper and to promote the right whenever possible.

Of course, in America, it would also be nice if that person had American principles and not some jingoistic notion of national pride, nor some principles based on a cult of personality. Some concept of democracy and a republic would be nice, plus some principles founded on the Bill of Rights.

But no, the principles of the Bush/Cheney White House seem to be anti-American and anti-democratic. They are willing to undermine the principles this country was founded on, in exchange for their notion of “protecting the American way of life” and for fantasized short-term political gains.

The idea of an “American way” has evolved and strayed so far from the original notions of the founders that the citizens don’t seem to realize what is happening to them. We citizens need to hold our government accountable. We are a government of the People, by the People, for the People. When someone says the government is bad, they are saying the people are bad. And the government that we need to hold accountable includes the Congress, starts with the Congress. The Executive branch, the President, doesn’t represent the People, Congress does. (And we have no idea of what the Vice-President is supposed to be doing to the People.) The Executive, the President, is supposed to execute the will of Congress – the representatives of the People.

I, for one, am getting sick and tired of this concept that people seem to be developing that we need to have a single person in charge. A single person that decides policy and implements it. Our Congress certainly seems to be leaning in that direction. A majority believe that our actions in Iraq are wrong but if the President wants to fund them, who are we to say nay?

Democracy is ugly, governments should be inefficient, and one-person rule is wrong.

Just who the hell does he think he is?

Across the board, the vice president’s office goes to unusual lengths to avoid transparency. Cheney declines to disclose the names or even the size of his staff, generally releases no public calendar and ordered the Secret Service to destroy his visitor logs. His general counsel has asserted that “the vice presidency is a unique office that is neither a part of the executive branch nor a part of the legislative branch,” and is therefore exempt from rules governing either. Cheney is refusing to observe an executive order on the handling of national security secrets, and he proposed to abolish a federal office that insisted on auditing his compliance.

From a Washington Post Article

The sheer gall and pomposity of the man is frightening. Even more frightening are the citizens who voted for him.

Although the argument that Cheney’s counsel makes leads to an interesting impeachment charge; that Bush is allowing “Top Secret” materials to be passed to someone who isn’t a part of the government. Of course, the downside is that if Bush is impeached and convicted, Cheney is then the President.