Maintaining the Status Quo
September 16, 2012
Here is an excerpt from an article in the NY Times, today, Sunday, September 16, 2012, speaking to what the article calls a “new strategy” by some Republicans to get elected or re-elected, touting the virtue of bipartisanship.
“They’re going to redefine, and we are going to remind. That’s what this is about,” said Representative Steve Israel of New York, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “They were swept in on a Tea Party tsunami. The wave has receded, and they are left high and dry with their voting records.”
“With less than two months until Election Day, some House races may turn on whether the incumbent Republicans can shake the Tea Party label that Democrats are eager to press to them like flypaper.”
So, as the likes of Walter Karp would say, the system is “working.” That is, it is working in that those in control are successfully maintaining status quo – and this despite about as much anger in the populace as I can remember for some time now. And before people get too excited over this alleged change, it would be useful to ask whether the status quo is really what we should want or need to maintain. It is almost as if people are breathing or about to breathe a sigh of relief as the partisanship of the last few years fades away and is replaced by a “politics of politeness,” at least for a little while. And perhaps this is what those who currently hold positions of power and prestige have wanted all along. So they fed the partisanship – such as it went and it didn’t go very deep – knowing that eventually this foolishness would be seen for what it was and people would be happy to return to status quo. Ah yes, paint the Tea Partiers as if they were and are responsible for the mess we are in, as the Democrats are now doing with Republicans as their allies. That should “work.” And we can move toward a “recovery,” but not to “reform.” Ah yes, recovering the road we were on that led us to our present situation – now there’s a goal that is, well, less than inspiring and might even seem insipid.
And one last thought: It was bipartisanship that gave us Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, the war on terror, domestic spying on American citizens, TSA, No Child Left Behind, just to mention a few bipartisan policies. And here is what will seem to many a strange thought: Politics is always better when it is characterized by partisanship, not by bipartisanship. If you don’t believe me, read your Aristotle or your Machiavelli. They knew that where partisanship ended, nirvana did not begin.