The Wisdom in Bipartisanship
USRENEW NEWS EDITORIAL
By: Ron Israel | July 9, 2021
Header photo taken from: The University News
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Many political observers question President Biden’s emphasis on bipartisanship. Why they ask should Biden put so much emphasis on bipartisanship when the other side of the aisle doesn’t seem interested.
Indeed today’s Republican party presents itself as a group of politicians aligned with former President Trump and his “big lie” that the election was stolen; who seem to want to see the Biden administration fail at all costs; who place power and party over country. The party’s Senate leader, Mitch McConnell, has pledged a platform of non-cooperation with the Biden agenda.
So what gives with President Biden? Why does he seem to be so obsessed with bipartisanship? The answer I believe is that Biden sees the main goal of his presidency to be the preservation of our democracy; to heal it from the wounds of the Trump administration. Biden sees bipartisan legislative agreement is a means to help achieve his goal.
And his approach may be beginning to work. Last month a bipartisan group of Republican and Democratic Senators agreed to a $1.2 trillion “hard infrastructure” bill to repeal America’s broken, bridges ports, and roads. While the bill has many hurdles to cross before being signed into law, it is an important signal that, even in this polarizing time, bipartisanship may be possible. Biden is trying to be a President for all Americans and his infrastructure bill is intended for everyone and not just for Democrats at the exclusion of Republicans.
Historically bipartisanship in most cases involves compromise. It means reaching an agreement on an issue that may disappoint those on both sides on the extreme ends of a political argument. But without compromise our country for the past several decades has languished in political gridlock as our quality of life diminishes.
So Biden may be justified in his obsession with bipartisanship. Bipartisan political agreement may be an important way of restoring Americans’ faith in our democratic system. It also might help drive a wedge between pro-Trump extreme right wingers and moderate Republicans who see the wisdom in bipartisan legislation.