How many times have we heard the sayings, "there is always two sides to the story", or "there has to be give and take" or "you are so one-sided"? Too many to count, and this is usually heard from two groups of people: those who want to preempt the discussion by falsely casting you in the wrong with name calling in order to shut down the debate; mostly because they have no argument. Then there are those who subscribe to the theory of bipartisanship.
Bipartisanship has an undeserved positive reputation. Through endless manipulation of low-information voters, and so-called moderates and independents, the false premise that "governing from the center" is a good thing is constantly being advanced by liberals and their allies in the news media.
Sure, the desperate desire to bring opposing sides together in a "spirit of bipartisanship" so they can "work together" in order to "reach a middle-ground" and craft legislation that "gets things done" sounds wonderful. Sadly, it rarely works out that way. Obama swore he was going to unite Washington, D.C. Has that happened?
Too many times in politics, there is no other side of the story. Sometimes people's ideas have no merit whatsoever . . . bad ideas do exist. That's not disrespectful; it is a non-PC truth that must be realized. Sometimes in debate there is no middle-ground, no trade space; it has to be a binary decision. You can't compromise principles. You can't compromise fundamentals.
For decades, the only thing that gets compromised is our Republican principles. Democrats have been successfully guilt tripping and swindling Republicans to give into their demands, and if you don't, you are (insert any bad name here).
Retired California state senator H.L. Richardson found that the only thing that got things done was confrontation. Democrats typically understand confrontation, like it and use it. Conversely, Republicans do not understand confrontation, don't like it and flee from it. Many who have read his book Confrontational Politics have reported that "Now I understand why Republicans keep losing."
In fact the evidence shows that many, not all, but many bipartisan efforts in the past are the culprits for much of the dysfunction and poor outcomes we endure today. This is part one of a three part series where HIRA presents a trip down memory lane to showcase some of the terrible disasters that have befallen our country and our islands when Republicans would rather hug/capitulate than duke it out.
The Community Reinvestment Act - Decades of bipartisan support in favor of the shameful policy of forcing banks and other lenders to make subprime mortgage loans to unqualified borrowers (then letting the financial industry create investments which allowed legalized betting of billions of dollars on the worthiness of those risky loans) set the stage for the big economic crash of 2008 which brought us the current Great Recession. The "good intentions" of the bipartisan politicians who implemented and kept this policy in place helped put America's economy into turmoil during the ensuing years to the present day.
The Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act of 1988 - Celebrated as a bipartisan success story upon its passage, this legislation was repealed a little more than one year after it was enacted. President Reagan and a Democrat dominated Congress wanted to "do something" by "teaming up" to provide new medical benefits for the elderly which would be financed entirely by the elderly; paid for by a little known surtax on elderly incomes. Retirement communities rose up in opposition to this bipartisan law once word got out about their mandated 'contributions', which started charging senior citizens for new benefits which many of them were already receiving through private insurance. In fact, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the average Medicare beneficiary would pay the Government $145 per year for benefits available on the market for $62. Now that's some bipartisan economics for you. Nothing expresses the sentiment of that era better than this video:
The nationwide revolt by seniors caused the House of Representatives to vote 360 to 66 to repeal the program it had approved just 16 months ago by a vote of 328 to 72.
Part Two of HIRA's "Bipartisanship Gone Bad" series coming soon . . .
Whether at home, on the road, or already at work, please be sure to have your radio tuned to KHVH News Radio 830 AM for the Rick Hamada Show this Wednesday morning (August 7th) at 7:00 a.m. as HIRA President Tito Montes will once again be Rick's special guest for a lively discussion of current events and major local and national issues.