Geraldine Ferraro’s impolitic commentary regarding Barack Obama has been widely covered and discussed. But in the rush to examine the really juicy part of her monologue, you know – the stuff about race – something else the 72 year old former congresswoman said is being lost.
Toward the end of her recent, now infamous, interview, one that has apparently cost her that highly coveted role of “Honorary New York Leadership Council Chair”, the woman who broke political ice twenty-four years ago as the Democratic nominee for Vice President, talked about the big bad wolf of PARTISANSHIP.
I’m referring to the part of Ms. Ferraro’s remarks where she challenged the notion that Mr. Obama is some kind of mythical superhero, who is going to change the rarified air inside the Capital Beltway. Here’s what she said:
“I was reading an article that said young Republicans are out there campaigning for Obama because they believe he’s going to be able to put an end to partisanship…Anyone that has worked in the Congress knows that for over 200 years this country has had partisanship – that’s the way our country is.”
Her point is being largely overshadowed by the other stuff she said. But it’s infinitely more important because it highlights the real elephant in the room affiliated with the Obama campaign; one that doesn’t have anything to do with the color of his skin, or even the content of his character. It has to do with the extremely unrealistic hopes some people are placing on him and his candidacy. Sadly, many are setting themselves up for a painful trip to disillusion land, because the hope is really nothing more than hype. Political business as usual is not going to change in America, no matter who is elected.
Partisanship is here to stay.
Is partisanship a bad thing? Would we really be better off if every American agreed with every other American about everything? Certainly, most of us grow weary of the politics of destruction and personal attack. But if there is a hunger in this country for some political messiah to come and rescue us from partisanship, then I suggest the nation get in touch with its heritage and see how beneficial constructive, and sometimes even acrimonious, debate has been for our Republic.
When our nation was young and struggling to find its way, charting new ground, and organizing a system of government unprecedented in human history, it wasn’t without a large measure of partisanship.
And we should all be thankful for that.