Ever since Democrats suffered historic, butt-spanking losses in the 2010 midterms, they’ve been whimpering for “bipartisanship,” “cooperation,” “compromise,” “togetherness,” “shared responsibility,” and “national unity.”
President Obama has been coaxing House and Senate Republicans to work together with Democrats to get things done.
Recently New York Senator Charles Schumer, one of the most viciously partisan individuals on the planet (you might say he’s full of “vitriol,”) suggested it might be melodious for Democrats and Republicans to sit mingled among one another at Obama’s 2011 State of the Union Address, rather than hunkering down battalion-style on opposite sides of the room.
Oklahoma Republican Senator Tom Coburn was the first to stupidly take the bait, followed by dozens of other Congressmen including Charles Grassley, Pat Toomey, Mark Kirk, Olympia Snowe, and—surprise!—John McCain.
Obama, it should be remembered, campaigned for president on the promise that he would usher in a “new era of bipartisanship.”
If the Democratic 111th Congress took Obama up on his idea, they had a funny way of showing it.
When they weren’t shutting Republicans out of committee meetings to write the 2009 stimulus bill and health care reform act, they were failing to post bills online with enough time to allow Republicans to read them and offer input.
Democrats rammed health care through inappropriately using budget reconciliation, because they couldn’t keep their 60-vote coalition after Massachusetts elected Republican Scott Brown.
The health care bill was so partisan and calculated to exclude a single strand of GOP DNA that not one Republican voted for it—not because Republicans were stubborn, but because the bill was so egregious that even 34 House Democrats voted against it. As Governor Haley Barbour noted, the only thing bipartisan about ObamaCare was opposition to it.
Despite the misconception that the GOP covered their ears during the health care reform debate and refused to offer suggestions, House Republicans introduced dozens of their own bills during 2009. These acts proposed innovative free-market improvements such as allowing sale of health insurance across state lines; expanding tax deductions, vouchers, and health savings accounts for routine care, prescriptions, and long-term care; and enacting medical malpractice tort reform.
None of the Republicans’ bills left the referral stage. None of the GOP’s suggestions was included in any of the Democratic versions of the bill.
For that divisive, impenetrable firewall between Democrats and Republicans, you can thank then-House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi and her sterling “bipartisanship.”