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The Washington Post's Sudden Concern For Bipartisanship

The opinion editors at the Washington Post are concerned about the level of polarization in our national politics. This concern seems to pop up every time establishment pols inside the beltway get tossed out by voters. I can't blame the Post for this position because business as usual is a good thing for their newspaper and a booming District means increased advertising revenues even for a print newspaper. But this a bit overboard:

THE INCREASING polarization of the nation's politics is fueling a blood sport in this election year: the ideological purification of both parties. Conservatives in Utah denied Republican Sen. Robert Bennett renomination last week. Liberals have targeted Arkansas Democrat Sen. Blanche Lincoln in a May 18 primary. Activists in other states and congressional districts hope to punish politicians they view as insufficiently devoted to party creed.

But there are dangers, too. The world is complicated, and an electorate so diverse in geography, race, class and beliefs can't be shoehorned into two fixed templates. There is no particular reason why all advocates of fiscal restraint should also oppose abortion rights, or why supporters of a progressive tax code should necessarily favor restrictions on gun ownership. The more litmus tests are imposed, the greater the number of voters who will find themselves politically homeless.

For many party cleansers, working across party lines constitutes treason. We agree that elected officials ought to be guided by principles that they are willing to fight for. But we also see a difference between fidelity to principle and dogmatism. If Republicans cannot accept that Democrats may make some reasonable arguments, and vice versa, then nothing will get done: no energy policy, for example. Mr. Bennett worked with Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon to develop a bipartisan health bill that responded to each party's noble aspirations: Republican commitment to economic competition and individual choice in the service of Democratic commitment to universal, affordable care. But that bipartisan effort became a leading charge in the activists' indictment of Mr. Bennett.

The Post doesn't get it, but this isn't the first time. They didn't get it in 1994, 2000, 2006 and 2008. As for the polarization I can only ask: Who said "We Won"? It wasn't George Bush in 2000. And don't fall for the Post's concern about Bennett ( if there were a chance that seat could become a Democratic pick up they would already have forgotten how to spell Bennett's name). That's a fig leaf for their real concern about the Democrats' potential loss of the Senate.

The Post is ignoring the 800 pound gorilla again. The Stimulus Legislation, which was a monumental failure at job creation and, well, stimulus in general, was a partisan issue crammed down Republican throats. ObamaCare, the largest piece of legislation in decades, was crammed down Republican throats. The Chrysler and GM bailouts, which were multibillion dollar sops to the Democrat's largest financial backers (unions), were crammed down Republican throats. Closing Gitmo the same. Granting terrorists access to U S criminal courts the same. Somewhere in that process an electorate began to revolt and, as I've said before, the banquet of consequences began. When the WaPo writers use language in their article like "party cleansers", "blood sport", and "ideological purification" it becomes obvious to any reader whose ox is getting gored. The WaPo cares as much about compromise and bi partisanship as their principal owner, Warren Buffet, cares for financial losses. The WaPo knows that a majority of its ox herd will be gored in November so now they plead for fairness, bi partisanship and objectivity. Where were you guys in 2008 and 2009 when the Obama/Pelosi/Reid juggernaut was rolling over conservatives with no regard for compromise?


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Comments (35)

Yeah, they're throwing peop... (Below threshold)

Yeah, they're throwing people out for "ideological purity."

And by "ideological purity," they mean "because they spent too much of our money."

The leftist blogs and other sites are digging into the "Tea Party people are all just bigoted stupid white people" line, and literally will not believe you when you point out that the number one priority of the Tea Party is getting Washington to STOP SPENDING MONEY.

I've seen people give huge laundry lists of "why the Teabaggers are bad," and leave out the major reason the whole thing got started, while including pretty much every liberal-dream concept of what they want their enemies to be. And when you point out the "stop spending" part, they just say "well, they only want to stop spending money because minorities get some of it," or "they don't want money spent on health care because they hate the poor," or "they love big business soooo much, they don't want tax increases on large corporations."


The Washington Post is stil... (Below threshold)
Tsar Nicholas II:

The Washington Post is still being published???

Hey WaPo, I got your ideolo... (Below threshold)
Joe Lieberman:

Hey WaPo, I got your ideological purification right here! /grabs crotch

Oh, and how's that Newsweek... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

Oh, and how's that Newsweek sale coming along? Maybe you could bundle it with Air America and the Coffee Party for a liberal trifecta.

WaPo doesn't even make a go... (Below threshold)

WaPo doesn't even make a good bird cage liner.

@ cirby - Don't forget this... (Below threshold)

@ cirby - Don't forget this classic libtard line: (shouted as loudly as possible) WHERE WERE YOU AND THE TEABAGGERS WHEN BUSH WAS PUTTING US IN A WAR THAT WASN'T PAID FORRRRRRRRR!!!!

WaPo and the NYTimes need t... (Below threshold)

WaPo and the NYTimes need to merge and change their name to "Pravda" and be done with it.

I've actually seen some bet... (Below threshold)

I've actually seen some better written, more incisive and more truthful journalism in Pravda. I don't spend a lot of time there, and can't speak for their daily output, but the few examples I've seen aren't the Communist house organ drivel they produced in the 60's. It's got a European viewpoint, but it's not the propaganda you would expect.

The Post and the Times, however, often, if not generally, do produce partisan crap.

I remember when these were both respectable newspapers. Back in the 60's.

Next... we go for an unbias... (Below threshold)

Next... we go for an unbiased purification of the media based on honesty.

I'll second bobdog's observ... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

I'll second bobdog's observation. Pravda isn't the joke it used to be. And the NYT isn't the authoritative source we used to think it was. (Was it then, or were we just getting Cronkited then? Dunno.)

Life is funny.

As for the polarization ... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

As for the polarization I can only ask: Who said "We Won"? It wasn't George Bush in 2000.

Oh yes, George W. Bush at a press conference, not exactly showing humility or that he is a public servant two days after the election in november, 2004-both his national elections were by the narrowest of margins, by one state each time, unlike Obama´s for example.

Bush: You asked, do I feel free. Let me put it to you this way: I earned capital in the campaign, political capital, and now I intend to spend it. It is my style. That's what happened in the -- after the 2000 election, I earned some capital. I've earned capital in this election -- and I'm going to spend it for what I told the people I'd spend it on, which is -- you've heard the agendaSocial Security and tax reform, moving this economy forward, education, fighting and winning the war on terror."

Among the other things you suffer from HughS. is amnesia of the arrogance, of the previous occupant of the White House. You wonder why no one mentioned him favorably at the last Republican Convention, and they are supposed to be the home crowd? the same thing will happen if the GOP gets back into the White House. They will be just as arrogant and unsucessful.

Wow, SC, that MUST be arrog... (Below threshold)

Wow, SC, that MUST be arrogance because you so smugly say so.

Stevie peddles so much BULL... (Below threshold)

Stevie peddles so much BULLSHIT that I'm surprised there won't be a 'cap and trade' tax penalty on his internet connection.

Isn't the plan to reduce 'greenhouse gas emissions'?

Stevie was all hot for opposing points of view back when it was 'patriotic do dissent'. But now "THINGS ARE DIFFERENT". Right Stevie?

Jay Guevara"(Was i... (Below threshold)

Jay Guevara

"(Was it then, or were we just getting Cronkited then? Dunno.)"

Good point. Maybe we should enter "to Cronkite" in the official vernacular of media deceit alongside "Rathergate".

The early critics of media bias such as Buckley and Reed Irvine argued at length that the major media organs simply invented news when they knew no one could or would challenge them.

The beginning of the end of unquestioned and unchallenged modern major media spin can be traced to Bob Woodward's story that former CIA head William Casey admitted in a deathbed interview with Woodward that he sanctioned Iran Contra. Casey's widow, God bless her, challenged Woodward by stating that her husband was not only in a drug induced coma at the time Woodward claimed Casey made his statement, but also that it was impossible for Woodward to have even had access to Casey.

So yes, we have been Cronkited for decades, starting I guess with the Tet offensive and continuing on with the fictions of a Woodward.

Bad habits are hard to break and major newspapers, many of which are in a death spiral, have no concern for accuracy. The interesting element in this is that we have seen this drama play out well before the internet and technology threatened major news outlets. Walter Duranty thoroughly destroyed the reputation of the New York Times by covering up the pogroms and genocide of Stalin. But that deceit was not uncovered until years afterward, during which time the Times flourished and even received a Pulitzer for Duranty's lies.

Who is this "Bush" person o... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

Who is this "Bush" person of whom you speak so disparagingly?

HughS, the most striking th... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

HughS, the most striking thing about Rathergate was Rather's reaction. He didn't double-check his story, to deflect criticism he doubled down by saying the bogus documents had come from an "unimpeachable source," and clearly was indignant that his word be questioned.

Put aside the obvious fact that the documents were forgeries (later even admitted as much with "fake but accurate" characterization, to which I say: "fake but nothing." Fake is fake. Period.) Rather may or may not have known they were forgeries, but his statement that they came from an "unimpeachable source" was a flat lie.

That was an affirmative statement. It did not admit of doubt or ambiguity about the provenance of the documents. To make that statement with integrity he would have had to have known precisely where they came from, and to trust that source implicitly.

When it later came out that a "Lucy Ramirez" had anonymously and surreptitiously handed the anonymously faxed documents to a Dem apparatchik I blew my top. That was Rather's idea of an unimpeachable source? It's about as "peachable" a source as one could possibly find.

But Rather's attempt to brazen it out, his indignation at having his word questioned, and the revelation that he was full of shit, spoke volumes. From it I inferred that he and his comrades had done the same thing before, probably many times, and had gotten away with it, and he was honked because he'd been caught out this time.

CrickmoreAmong other... (Below threshold)

Among other things you suffer from is an inability to refute my point. Did Bush tell opponents to his controversial legislative agenda: "We Won"? No he didn't. Nor did he tell his adversaries that he was the only thing that stood between them and the pitchforks.

Steve, do you actually pay attention to what happens down here? Do you read the posts? For example, Bill Clinton NEVER won over 50% of the popular vote after two tries.

Your obtuse comments about the "amnesia of the arrogance" of the Bush White House are laughable. Given the challenges faced by the Bush White House on national security should make someone like you thankful that terrorists did not devastate your neighborhood while he was president.

I really don't care about the lack of favorable mentions at a convention when it comes to George Bush. I supported his policy to protect this country against terrorist attacks after 9/11. He succeeded. Obama? The jury is still out but the complete 180 his talking heads did last weekend shows they just bacame scared shitless about something Dick Cheney and George Bush woke up thinking about every day.

And your hang up about arrogance is astounding. We have in the White House today the most arrogant executive in decades. A guy who can't articulate a relevant point without a teleprompter. A guy we know nothing about from his formative years. We know lots about Bush: he was a partier when he was young, is a recovering alcoholic, flew advanced fighter jets in the National Guard, was a two term governor of Texas. That's much more than I know about President Obama. The problem is that it doesn't seem to concern you at all that we knew all this about Bush before 2000 but relatively litle about your guy still today. That lack of transparency is the epitome of arrogance.

As for the polarization I c... (Below threshold)

As for the polarization I can only ask: Who said "We Won"?---hugh s

The Chimp had his henchmen unfurl a "Mission Accomplished" banner on-board as the USS Abraham Lincoln made circles off-shore San Diego.

When vets smelled a rat, the Chimp blamed the gay navy for its gayness in tinseling up the joint a'la Saturday Night fever meets John Wayne meets McHale's Navy.

Next question?

bryanDGood point. ... (Below threshold)


Good point. Scratch the plural of that pronoun.

Here is what was said:

"President Obama listened to Republican gripes about his stimulus package during a meeting with congressional leaders Friday morning - but he also left no doubt about who's in charge of these negotiations. "I won," Obama noted matter-of-factly, according to sources familiar with the conversation."

bryanD, the mission of that... (Below threshold)

bryanD, the mission of that ship, and of the invasion WAS accomplished! and President Bush saying so was not the same as our fucked-up sorry ass excuse for a POTUS telling everybody "I won".

Obama is the worst mistake this country has EVER made...I pray we survive it. I fear we won't...and that an "amicable divorce" is the best we can hope for.

Bryan has been too busy giv... (Below threshold)

Bryan has been too busy giving his Obamassiah blow jobs to note who's been "polarizing".

You know Bryan, the same guy that tells us each week who we have to 'hate' next.

Ring any bells in that dim brain of yours?

And we're talking CURRENT events Bryan. Not history. "It's Bush's fault" won't fly anymore. Nor will "Well look what Bush did."
We're in the here and now, with President Dumb Fuck screwing up the country with UNSUSTAINABLE entitlement programs.

Or hadn't you bothered to notice?

Do not refer to Pres... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

Do not refer to President Obama as "The Chimp." It's racially insensitive.


"bryanDGood point. S... (Below threshold)

Good point. Scratch the plural of that pronoun."---hugh s.

Oh, damn! An actual parry to my thrust! (And here at Wizbang-robot-blog-dotcom, no less!)
I hardly expected an appeal to Reason here!

So...all I'm left with (now) is this: Obama ain't God; far from it. (VERY far!) But Manicheanism from a conservative perspective is a trap (since all are fallen, etc...and But for the grace of God go I...).

May I suggest a Ron Paul-approved reading list? As Jayne Mansfield lamented, Where's my foundation? (There doesn't seem to be one here, overall...quotidian in the worse way! Dolly Parton could write a nice song about Hand-me-downs regarding Opinions here!---thx for breaking thru, tho')

bryanD, the mission of that ship, and of the invasion WAS accomplished!---jUSTRAND

When we (the US) pull out of Iraq (circa AD 2500?), you and I can talk about your *point of view*---BUT! since Iraq is currently being subsidized by the US taxpayer, STFU you "moran". Read a book.

"And we're talking CURRENT events Bryan. Not history."--Garandfan

Spoken like a True Son of the Immaculate Chimp.

There is a medal waiting for you at the Vatican, even now!

Your unsolicited "blow job" allusion my-way will surely merit you a *Combat B-J* bonus from Pope Bennie Dick!

bDPlease do not mi... (Below threshold)


Please do not mistake the gyrations of your onanistic hips to thrusts.

We don't.

"bDPlease do not mis... (Below threshold)

Please do not mistake the gyrations of your onanistic hips to thrusts."---epador

Oh, I figured a close combat allusion would sail over someone's head such as yours, the Ben Casey of the veteranary world---who always seems to have time to post here, anyway, despite the steep mortality of gerbils since Herr Cheney's "daughters" have moved into Town with their polyester panties and their super tight elastic waistbands!

Onan waits for Nothing which can't breath through synthetic fibers; flora, fauna, or epadora---a whatzit genus, yet to be categorized!

Yo, bryanD - don't forget t... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

Yo, bryanD - don't forget to blame Republicans for the Teapot Dome scandal, too. Maybe that will help distract attention from the Obama policies, which demonstrate complete incompetence at best, and malevolent intent at worst.

But illustrating the cluelessness of WaPo is like posting the sun is expected to rise in the morning. It goes back at least to 1963 when Katherine Graham took over after her husband's death (funny how some idiot heir has a way of ruining a newspaper - see for reference Sulzberger, Pinch). Perhaps they should incorporate their stellar history in a slogan: "Not Getting It For 47 Years - And Counting!"

"Maybe that will help distr... (Below threshold)

"Maybe that will help distract attention from the Obama policies, which demonstrate complete incompetence at best, and malevolent intent at worst."---jim addison

As any number of stray dog commenters here have demurred before: when have We/I ever defended Obama?---You, Sir, are politically stir-crazy!

Now, as for "incompetent/malevolent"; the search for a Worser than Bush?...that is a quest which may take you the rest of your life, what with the Lies that caused people (red-blooded Americans; would-be tea-partiers; the salt of the earth) to die. Or to be maimed or crippled, in the tens of thousands, in the name of a Charade (WMDs)...And just because Bush Junior had some Oedipus Complex against Bush Senior, the vomit king among preznits.

If only these inbreeds would have kept their family feud inside their cross-eyed family!

PS. Can we all agree that Rand Paul of Kentucky should be elected to the senate?

(Tricky question!?)

We can all agree that Rand ... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

We can all agree that Rand Paul is a freak like his Daddy who opposes any sensible foreign policy, and that you should remember your medication.

The Post doesn't get it. W... (Below threshold)

The Post doesn't get it. We are not a nation of centrists. We want clear choices, not a bunch of luke warm ideas that don't fix actual problems.

The Post just realized that... (Below threshold)

The Post just realized that their Dims are going to be massacred in November.

Agreed, Oyster - and we als... (Below threshold)

Agreed, Oyster - and we also have to remember that those solutions have to be implemented. All too often the 'crisis' that the pol runs on and wins an election promising to remedy ends up being not quite so important, and is shelved until it's needed at the next election.

'Zactly, JLawson. My new p... (Below threshold)

'Zactly, JLawson. My new philosophy towards these pols is: "You pretend to care and I'll pretend to vote for you come November, mkay?"

Remarkable how "concerned" ... (Below threshold)

Remarkable how "concerned" for the republican party the left becomes whenever dems are in trouble. The advice is ALWAYS the same..be bipartisan. TRANSLATION: continue to sell out the nation and the American people by voting with the left.

HughS, I'm rejoining the de... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

HughS, I'm rejoining the debate a little late. A few points. I'm not going to really argue about the arrogance of Bush or Obama. They both have nothing on Cheney. However, as pointed out today in the New York Times, by the way, you are going back 70 years to the despicable NTT reporter, Duranty and his part in the the cover-up the potemkin village image of the Soviet Union of the economic distress and its cruelty - I recommend Muggeridge's memoirs- the Bush/Cheney administration constantly sought to usurp scientists and their work in the same vein that Duranty, edited out the actual facts- the results are nearly always disastrous.

The scientists, none of whom wanted to be quoted by name for fear of reprisals by the agency or by those in the industry, said they had repeatedly had their scientific findings changed to indicate no environmental impact or had their calculations of spill risks downgraded.

"You simply are not allowed to conclude that the drilling will have an impact," said one scientist who has worked for the minerals agency for more than a decade. "If you find the risks of a spill are high or you conclude that a certain species will be affected, your report gets disappeared in a desk drawer and they find another scientist to redo it or they rewrite it for you."

What did you think was going to happen when bigoil was allowed to get away with so much including self-certification? In the never ending battle of faith and reason (in my opinion) "drill, baby drill" Palin continues to be the standard bearer of faith and ideologues like Duranty and Bush/Cheney who wrapped themselves around big oil most of their working lives and their flags of convenience: Saudi Arabia, Cayman islands Marshall Islands.

Obama is much more a pragmatist, too much for my liking and is finally starting to wake up as to what corporate tycoons whether on Wall Street or Big Oil are fundamentally interested in; greed and more greed, particulary if the taxpayer can pick up the expense for their reckless and tententious decisions.

The leftist blogs and ot... (Below threshold)

The leftist blogs and other sites are digging into the "Tea Party people are all just bigoted stupid white people" line, and literally will not believe you when you point out that the number one priority of the Tea Party is getting Washington to STOP SPENDING MONEY.

I think the left continually uses the race card because they don't have a counter argument. They can't understand that the motivation is very simple: Stop Obama and defeat his enablers.

Also like the kid who cried Wolf, people are just not going to react to (and be scared of) the race card anymore. It's way over its credit limit.






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