Monday, August 01, 2011
How Bipartisanship Is Determined. Lessons from the Debt Ceiling Debacle.
The votes are now in. House Vote 690 approves a compromise on debt ceiling. All this has the background of bipartisanship, of crossing the political aisle on behalf of Murkan people. The president is a believer in compromises of the kind where he begins from what he regards the middle and then the Republicans drag him further towards the place where Attila the Hun lies buried. Hence we get these bipartisan deals which the Republicans love!
Note the actual numbers voting for and against the compromise:
Democrats: 95 yes, 95 no
Republicans: 174 yes, 66 no
If you had no idea what had happened before, which party would you suspect of having created the proposal?
Yup. The Republicans. A much larger percentage of them is happy with the bill, whereas the Democrats are split equally.
Yet the people really fighting for this compromise seem to me to be all Democrats. Even Gabrielle Giffords came in to vote for it.
I can't help thinking of my earlier example about a society where one segment consists of cannibals and another segment of their dinners. The application here is that the dinners brought the napkins and the condiments and the forks and knives to the party, to encourage the cannibals to sit down and eat.