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Bipartisan, yeah right

Vail Daily Editorial
Vail, Colorado CO

Anyone else out there feeling a little, er, underwhelmed by what the Democrats have done in the U.S. Congress so far? Sure, they did their touted “100 hours” and passed a few decent pieces of legislation like raising the minimum wage and promoting stem-cell research (at least one of which has a chance of avoiding Bush’s veto pen).

But on the issue more Americans have said they’re concerned with than anything else ” Iraq ” the Dems haven’t gotten much further than a non-binding Senate resolution opposing the troop “surge.” (Which, by the way, is pretty much already in progress.)

At first, Republican resistance to the idea seemed to doom the toothless resolution. It wasn’t until some GOP senators decided this week it didn’t sound like such a bad idea that the whole notion got some legs. Is that “bipartisanship” we smell? Or is it simply Republicans aligning themselves politically for ’08 ” when war support of any kind will likely be the kiss of death. In the meantime Dems fumble for something better or at least different than “stay the course” or ” what is it now? ” “The new way forward?”



“Bipartisan” is a funny word, since its embrace suggests something out of the ordinary. But isn’t the whole idea of a representative democracy based on the idea that lawmakers will behave in some kind of cooperative fashion? What really needs to be in evidence in Washington is a higher degree of statesmanship ” that old-fashioned notion that one can disagree with one’s opponent without attempting to destroy them, or that compromise to a middle ground doesn’t signal weakness.

So how are the Democrats doing with reaching across the aisle? It’s been less than two months, but what we’re seeing so far is a little movement on Iraq, agreement on things that are tough to vote against (ethics reform, anyone?) and not a whole lot else. We gave you the keys, Dems, it’s time to start driving faster and straighter while taking a few bits of advice from the elephant in the passenger seat.



A.M.


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