When Barack Obama promises change for America, I graciously assume, for now, that he doesn't mean he will change America to conform to his apparently racist pastor's vision for this country, though that whole subject deserves far more scrutiny. But we should also seriously examine his promise to deliver a more harmonious climate.
It's not just Obama. A lot of Democrats have been pushing the idea of bipartisanship for years. One of the Democrats' earliest criticisms of President Bush was that he didn't reach across the aisle and extend a hand to Democrats.
Of course, the truth is precisely the opposite. Bush, unlike any president in recent memory, genuinely made a determined effort to work with Democrats. Not only did they rebuff him, but they attacked him with a relentless viciousness from before day one. Democrats weren't looking for bipartisanship. They were looking to get their way, even with a Republican president in office. They condemned as partisanship anything short of that, somewhat reminiscent of the Soviet Communists redefining imperialism not as the Soviets' swallowing up of smaller nations but as the United States' efforts to resist such Soviet imperialism.
Understand that I am not criticizing Democrats for being partisan; I'm suggesting they are cynically insincere or grossly self-deceived when they pretend to aspire to bipartisanship. They don't seek compromise; they want the unopposed implementation of their unadulterated liberal agenda, which, of course, is their prerogative.
If I were a liberal -- heaven forbid -- I'd be promoting a liberal agenda, too -- not bipartisanship. Indeed, conservatives and Republicans are foolish if they believe liberals won't vigorously pursue their policies. They are hopelessly naive if they think Obama cares more about restoring harmony than advancing the leftist policies to which he has proven his fidelity. Republicans, including Sen. John McCain, better not fall for the ruse that bipartisanship is remotely likely in today's polarized political climate.
I single out McCain here because he has been boasting of running "a different kind of campaign," one that eschews conflict and negativity. That's laudable if he means he will refrain from dirty politics -- dirty tricks and lying about his opponents. But it's unilateral surrender if he means he will not point out their genuine flaws and the sharp differences he professes to have with them.
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