Besides, when we see legislative compromise like we have with the various iterations of the immigration bill, we can be sure that conservatives are getting the short end of the stick. When so-called conservative senators bend over backward to accommodate the likes of Sen. Ted Kennedy and earn his lavish praise, we know all we need to know about the "wisdom" of this bill and what it portends for the national interest.
When "conservatives" jump in bed with politicians who view "multiculturalism," "diversity" and "tolerance" as the highest virtues, on a major piece of legislation that would advance those ideas while targeting for dilution the unique American culture and the primacy of the English language, something is radically wrong.
These legislators can continue to tout bipartisanship and collegiality as the highest goals of government. Likewise, others unschooled in history, the Constitution, politics and human nature can swoon over the seductive, but mindless prospect of political leaders like Ross Perot, and perhaps Michael Bloomberg, who come along from time to time and promise to deliver America from the evils of partisanship and bickering.
But I'd prefer a little realism to such empty promises and nonsense any day. Politicians who pretend they will bring such harmony about controversial, weighty issues are either ignorant of politics and human nature or are so incorrigibly arrogant that they believe the manifest superiority of their ideas, once properly explained, will usher in universal consensus and goodwill.
But as for the two senators at hand, I'd far rather have seen them engaged in a spirited exchange over issues they couldn't possibly agree on so readily if they truly reflected the polar opposite views held by their respective constituents.
I'd have a much warmer, fuzzier feeling if Sen. Lott had demanded explanations from Sen. Feinstein concerning her party's refusal to approach the war on terror as if it were a war, our enemies as if they were enemies and the immigration issue as if preservation of our culture and national security matter.
But if the two just couldn't resist discussing "bipartisanship," I'd have felt much better if Sen. Lott, in between kiss-blowings had asked Sen. Feinstein why her party refused to leave politics and partisanship at the water's edge.
Until we have answers to these questions and to the mystery of how legislators with ostensibly opposite ideologies can so easily agree on controversial issues, I think we can dispense with lectures from the governing class, which, in my view, has outstayed its welcome.