"Electing a president based solely on the platform or promises of one party is not adequate for this time," Boren said. "Until you end the polarization and have bipartisanship, nothing else matters, because one party simply will block the other from acting."
Except the one party is called the Republican Party. When was the last time the Democrats blocked anything?
That's pretty hilarious, this idea that the Dems are obstructionist. The problem is precisely that they are not. I wish there was the polarization that Boren alludes to; there is not. The Dems have done hardly anything to prevent this administration's ransacking the constitution and the treasury. Digby goes on:
But it's depressing that so many Democrats[, moderates, and independents] still seem to have this deep conceit that the Republicans are really reasonable people in spite of fifteen long years of being shown otherwise over and over again. And it's infuriating that after everything that's happened, the permanent political establishment is still more freaked out at the prospect of the dirty hippies passing universal health care than radical neocons starting World War III. If only the reasonable people could get together over scotch and waters and talk it all through everything would work as it's supposed to.
It's a lovely idea, isn't it? The only problem is that they keep forgetting to tell the Republicans, who view politics as a blood sport. They aren't interested in compromise and haven't been since old Bob Michel shuffled off to shuffleboard-land. They play for keeps, which it seems to me, is perfectly obvious after all we've seen over the past 15 years or so.
You either get it or you don't, I suppose. This longing for bi-partisanship is another example of how cognitive dissonance prevents people from seeing what's really going on. Understandably, decent Americans want an end to fix a system that is so broken. So it's obvious--let's have some bipartisanship, that's the trick. They are so committed to the idea that they are unable to see clearly the causes of our brokenness. They are unable to see that these hyenas on the right couldn't even get along with the center-right pol like Bill Clinton. They sought to tear him to shreds from day one.
In this script both parties are equally to blame, and they are right, but not for the reasons they think. The one party runs roughshod over the constitution while lining the pockets of its cronies; the other shrugs its shoulders and looks for ways to get some of the action. The problem isn't polarization. That would suggest that there is some serious opposition to the GOP agenda, and that the president has been unable to get anything done. But there is no problem about getting things done--all kinds of things are getting done. Hardly any of them good for the health of our democracy.
What if one of the senators went on a huger strike in the senate chambers until habeas corpus was restored. Maybe that's the kind of thing we need to see.
UPDATE: Greenwald on the potential "bi-partisan" candidacy of Michael Bloomberg:
Clearly, this is just exactly what our country desperately needs, what it is missing most -- a neoconservative, combat-avoiding, Bush-supporting, Middle-East-warmonger who sees U.S. and Israeli interests as indistinguishable and inextricably linked, with a fetish for ever-increasing government control and surveillance, and a background as a Wall St. billionaire. We just haven't had enough of those in our political culture. Our political system, more than anything, is missing the influence of people like that. That's why it's broken: not enough of those.
Bloomberg is basically just Rudy Giuliani with a billion or two dollars to spend to alter the election. When it comes to foreign policy, war-making and government power, he offers absolutely nothing that isn't found in destructive abundance among the most extremist precincts in the Republican Party, while his moderate to liberal stance on social issues would prevent him from actually winning the support of his natural GOP base.
What's amazing is how in the public imagination you are considered a moderate if you are as far right as Attila the Hun on issues in the political and economic spheres so long as you are "liberal" on issues in the cultural sphere, like abortion and gay rights. It's a nifty formula, and it's no wonder our politics is so addlebrained.