Republican House minority leader John Boehner made a speech today on the dismal state of congressional affairs and his ideas about congressional reform. I’ll spare analysis of the full details because the speech is essentially the Pledge to America explained in a concise manner(less wordy than the 14 pages of rhetoric published last week).
But there was one section of his speech that brought to light an undesired and much ignored truth about the state of national politics:
“It’s time to focus on doing what we were sent here to do. The ultimate measure of whether we have a functioning house is not bipartisanship. Our focus shouldn’t be on working across party lines for its own sake. The true test is whether our ideas, policies, and values are able to stand the test of a fair debate and a fair vote. And sadly, that’s something we have not seen in the House for some time.”
People rant and rave about Democrats and Republicans not being able to cooperate. They complain constantly about the ineffectiveness of government due to gridlock caused by a partisian alliance structure. Why can’t Republicans and Democrats get just get along, geeze?
Well, people, Mr. Boehner just told you the answer you really want so badly. Because the the problem all along is that the question was wrong. It shouldn’t be: Why can’t we all just get along? Because we can’t. Republicans and Democrats have different worldviews, different competeing interest groups, and different constituences, thereby causing them to support different policy and stick to that policy.
The question is: Why can’t we get things done in congress? People assumed the answer to that question was the gridlock between the worldviews of Democrats and Republicans. But then they got their bipartisanship: Tom Castle and Lisa Murkowski to name a prominent couple. The tea-party movement is the backlash of America against bipartisanship, against what they thought they wanted but really didn’t. The tea-party is fundamentally opposed to “RINOS,” the description of which is a bipartisan Republican.
Boehner puts in right on the money with this statement. Why cross party lines just for the sake of a mediocre policy that doesn’t make anyone, Democrats or Republicans, happy? Let’s get out of this idiotic political correctness and face the facts that what we really want are not politicians of weak ideals who work to compromise, but strong minded politicians who work for progress based on the confidence of their worldview. And if that means less passed legislation, so what? What it will mean is that the legislation that is passed is strong, pointed, and effective.