James Leroy Wilson's blog

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

When bipartisanship ended

In a post on social media, I wrote:
"Our leaders used to put nation over party!" Yes, back when they sent 100,000 draft slaves to their deaths in east Asia. Good times!
To be fair, bipartsanship persevered after the draft ended and there was relative peace. Reagan's tax cuts, the tax reform of 1986, and the Gramm-Rudman deficit reduction plan all passed with Democratic input and at least some support, because it had control of at least one chamber of Congress all through Reagan's 8-year term.

The first George Bush, H.W. never had even one chamber in his favor. Bipartisanship in this era existed to the degree he agreed with or was willing to compromise with Democrats.

The turning point was the 1994 election, in which Republicans gained control of Congress in a voter repudiation of the Democratic agenda of the time. There was little, if any, bipartisanship through the 90's even as the economy chugged along and budget deficits turned into surpluses
.
Bipartisanship returned to some degree during the second Bush, W. After 9/11, he could push through any "security" measure or war with Democratic assent and worked with Democrats on their agenda for greater federal control of education and expansion of Medicare.

But it ended a second time in 2010, after Obama's first two years in office. What was the main issue? Obamacare.

So let's review. When did bipartisanship stop?

With Hillarycare.
 
And then with Obamacare.

That is, government control of healthcare.

And always lurking in the background is gun control. If Democrats had a House majority and a filibuster-proof Senate majority, gun control would get passed. So we have, at the root of the partisan divide: 

Government control of healthcare.

Government control of our means of self-defense.

Government control of your right to life. Government deciding if you can exist.

Who would surrender the right to life to an agency that says "We're compassionate. Trust us?"

Conservatives don't.

They think this is evil, and evil isn't entitled to a compromise. 

I'm not sure if Republican voters consciously think this way, but it's my theory of why they hate all things Democrat. The problem isn't that Democrats want to run your life, it's that they want to decide if you should live.

I understand that instinct, even though Republicans have their own anti-liberty agenda of controlling our bodies through prohibitions and surveillance. And I oppose that as well.

I wonder if Republicanism can be summarized as, 'You can take away our freedom, but you can't take away our lives!"

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