Glenn Greenwald looks at polls to shred apart the “Americans want bipartisanship” myth. In polls and in the voting booth, the only time Americans are expressing a desire for bipartisanship is when it is applied to Republicans.
Let me suggest that what Americans long for is not “bipartisanship,” but sanity. They’re tired of the clown show.
People allegedly want “bipartisanship.” The nation’s political and media powers translate that to mean people want both parties to have an equal say in government, and that policies should be crafted to the “center” of the current political spectrum in Washington.
But I do not think that’s what most people want at all. What most people want are politicians to stop squabbling like children and get serious about governing. They are tired of childish partisan games sucking all the energy out of government. They want real problems addressed in a real-world way. They don’t care which party is in power so long as that party is behaving like grownups.
The GOP continues to behave like 2-year-old stuck in the “no!” phase.
I think what people want from Washington isn’t “bipartisanship” as the villagers understand the word. What they want might more honestly be called “post-partisan” or “anti-partisan” or just plain “not-partisan.” They want the games to stop.
That doesn’t mean they expect Congress to be of one mind. However, they want opposition to the administration to come from somewhere else than Mars. They want opposition that comes from an honest desire to solve problems and make America better, not from whatever pathological character disorders propel right-wingers to grab power, by any means, that they clearly are not responsible to hold.
If you look at today’s headlines, you’d think President Obama is somehow failing the people on “bipartisanship.” For example, the Washington Post: “Obama Gets High Marks for 1st Month, But Survey Finds Sharp Erosion in Bipartisan Support”
Large majorities of Americans in a new Washington Post-ABC News poll support his $787 billion economic stimulus package and the recently unveiled $75 billion plan to stem mortgage foreclosures. Nearly seven in 10 poll respondents said Obama is delivering on his pledge to bring needed change to Washington, and about eight in 10 said he is meeting or exceeding their expectations. At the same time, however, the bipartisan support he enjoyed as he prepared to take office has eroded substantially amid stiff Republican opposition to his major economic initiatives.
In other words, everyone but bitter-ender Republicans approves of Obama. Then the pathological intransigence of the GOP is framed as Obama’s failure and not theirs.
For ABC News, Gary Langer reports — “A Strong Start for Obama â€“ But Hardly a Bipartisan One.”
Barack Obama’s month-old presidency is off to a strong start, marked by the largest lead over the opposition party in trust to handle the economy for a president in polls dating back nearly 20 years. But the post-partisanship he’s championed looks as elusive as ever.
Again, when people express a desire for “post-partisan” government, this does not mean they want right-wing lunatics to have an equal say in government. They want the insanity to stop. Cenk Uygur explains:
As DougJ at Balloon Juice says, “villager” opinion and public opinion have rarely been so far apart.