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Time for Negotiations, Not Debates

01.30.10

Even the conservative pundits agree:

“Obama did well, got the better of GOP today,” the Weekly Standard‘s Michael Goldfarb tweeted. “Fortunately, we got the better of him the last six months or so. And health care is dead.”

Politics as brutal warfare with the only real losers being the American people.  Instead of acting on behalf of their constituents, lawmakers vote according to party and personal agendas.  Goldfarb makes it clear that this is a simply a political game.  Us versus them.  Red versus blue.  Republican versus Democrat.  All in an effort to simply win the votes of the people, to regain power, and to continue that process over and over and over again.  Nevermind the fact that Obama won the debate today by simply pointing out facts and the GOP’s hypocrisy while Goldfarb’s idea of getting the better of the Democratic president is to act like children and just say no to anything and everything that he says or wants to do and then when Obama can’t pass legislation, the GOP win.

It would be one thing is the parties were disagreeing on some core issues but still finding common ground – in that case, their arguing would be productive and compromises would be reached that would please a strong majority of voters.  But these aren’t negotiations, these are debates.  In debate, one arguer wins, and one loses.  In proper negotiations, both parties win, essentially, accepting what they need and conceding some of what they want.

Unilateral opposition to a president is not governance.  It’s not a political ideology.  It’s emptiness disguised as substance. And people are eating it up.  It’s time the Republicans swallowed their collective massive pride (for what, I don’t know – their failed policies were a huge reason we’re in this mess right now and that’s fact) and started negotiating with Democrats instead of debating ideology.  (And yes, the Democrats have negotiated.  If you don’t think they have, take a look at the Senate HCR Bill and you’ll see that universal coverage, single-payer insurance, and the public option are nowhere to be found, for which progressives have clamored for years.)

Save the debating ideology for college and universities and let’s get some legislation passed.

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