Stop rooting for “bipartisanship”

I had a really encouraging experience the other day.

I went for a walk down the street, when two nice gentleman approached me. They were both rather large, and they had tattoos on their necks and faces. Before I had a chance to say ‘hello,’ they pulled out their guns and pointed them at me.

The one on the left said, “give us wallet and your watch!”

But then the one on the right retorted, “no, just give us your wallet and, maybe, like, one of your shoes, or something!”

The guy on the left became visibly frustrated. “No! I want your wallet and your watch! If you don’t hand them over, I’ll shoot you in the head!”

The guy on the right wanted nothing to do with this suggestion. “Outrageous! I say, give over your wallet and your shoe, or I’ll shoot you in the chest, and then possibly kick you in the shins three times, maybe four, but no more than seven!”

Oh boy. These fellas just couldn’t agree on anything! They started to argue and bicker about what, exactly, they should steal from me, and how, precisely, they should brutalize me if I don’t comply.

I tell you what, I was just fed up with all of it. That’s when I puffed up my chest and shouted, “HEY! ENOUGH!”

“You two need to come to an AGREEMENT about what you’re going to steal from me and how you’re going to assault me, and you better do it THIS INSTANT! I’ve had it up to here with your squabbling! This world needs more bipartisanship!”

Suddenly, the argument stopped. They nodded at me, smiled, shook hands with each other, and came to a consensus. They decided to steal my wallet, my watch, both shoes, my jacket, my cell phone and my socks. Generously, they even agreed to only shoot me in both arms and batter me in the knees with a baseball bat.

I thanked them kindly, as I lay on the pavement naked, bleeding profusely; they accepted my gratitude graciously and walked away. I think we all came away from this encounter with a pretty important lesson.

That lesson is this: the most important thing in life is agreement. It doesn’t matter what the agreement is, or what it leads to, or what it involves, just as long as everyone gets along. Amen?

And I can just hear millions of Americans shouting “AMEN” in affirmation. After all, that story should make zero sense to any rational, critically thinking adult. But we don’t have a lot of those in this country these days. Instead, we’re surrounded by flimsy, submissive, henpecked invertebrates who whimper and whine like abused puppies anytime someone raises their voice with an opposing point of view.

Today, the our politicians “came together” to strike a deal to end the government shutdown. They have an agreement. They are on the same page. Bipartisanship! Oh blessed, hallowed, sacred “bipartisanship.” As Republicans and Democrats prance around on cable news, showing off their dexterity by literally bending over backwards to kiss their own butts, I’ve seen many of my fellow citizens celebrate the development.

“Finally!”

“Thank God!”

“It’s about time!”

It’s about time for what, exactly? Do you know what this “deal” accomplishes? Do you know what they’ve ‘bipartisanly’ agreed to do? Well, just spend more money, increase the debt, continue bankrupting our children, expand government and offer no relief to the millions of people whose health insurance premiums have doubled and tripled because of Obamacare. Oh, and it assures that we’ll repeat this charade in another few weeks.

They came together to screw you over. Again. In the end, they always rally around their shared belief that, no matter what, they should have more money and power, and you should have less.

That’s why I never understand the people who complain that Congress can’t “get anything done.” Would you rather them do bad things, just because it’s better than nothing? Personally, I’d prefer that they do good things — protect liberty, cut spending, shrink government, increase efficiency, etc. — but, in lieu of that, I’ll take nothing.

Here’s the attitude we all ought to have towards DC:

BEST OPTION: Do the right thing.

SECOND BEST OPTION: Do nothing.

WORST OPTION: Do the wrong thing.

This is a very simple concept, why do so many struggle to understand it?

Let’s try another analogy. What if you were sitting in a car with me and I presented you with three possibilities for a road trip. We can either drive quickly off a cliff, drive slightly less quickly off a cliff, or drive nowhere. Which would you prefer? Sure, going nowhere would be rather boring. But, on the flip side, going off a cliff isn’t the greatest idea because, well, you’ll be going off a cliff. You know, like, plunging to our demise, painful death, ball of flames; really just an unpleasant experience all around.

Maybe we’ve all seen too many Full House reruns. Maybe we’ve been too taken in by Danny Tanner’s compelling end-of-episode sermons about the wonders of togetherness, sharing, and agreement. Maybe we ought to put down the remote, pick up a book, and read some of the words of the rebellious, obstructionist, extremist, argumentative, passionate, loud, stubborn, courageous ideologues who built this nation. Maybe we ought to consider the possibility that being RIGHT and doing the RIGHT THING is the ultimate goal, and the standard to which we should hold our representatives.

I WANT them to disagree. I WANT them to argue. Our problems don’t stem from “partisanship”; they stem from a lack of it. Do you really think the “mood” in politics is more contentious now than at any other point in history? Need I take you back to 1804 when the sitting Vice President and the former Secretary of Treasury SHOT AT EACH OTHER.

With guns.

Real guns.

Alexander Hamilton was murdered by the Vice President. And you think our politicians are too nasty nowadays?

Those old boys back in the day used to jab each other with hot pokers from the fireplace and crack one another over the head with their canes. They used to accuse each other of treason and murder. For goodness sake, they even fought a war over their political disagreements. More than half a million Americans died in one of the most ruthless wars in the history of mankind because they couldn’t settle their differences peacefully. And here we are in the year 2013, utterly scandalized if we have to watch politicians argue on CSPAN for a few days.

Don’t cheer this agreement. Don’t cheer it, because it’s a bad agreement, and bad agreements aren’t better than none-agreements. A plate full of horse manure isn’t better than no plate at all. Please, I beg you, stop calling for bipartisanship. We have more than enough bipartisanship; when it comes to the fundamental issues, the two “sides” generally agree. When it comes time to make the really bad decisions, the two “sides” will find a way to work together. They squabble not over how the government should operate, or how big it should be, or how much money it should spend, but simply over who gets to control it all.

Sure, there are a few voices of true opposition. Ted Cruz comes to mind, along with a small scattering of “fringe” Tea Party folks. But, outside of them, these cats are on the same page. Don’t let their bickering fool you. They’re just an old married couple; joined at the hip, eternally bound. They’re at each other’s throats, but they know they’re meant to be together. Isn’t it romantic?

I keep hearing about this supposed “deep ideological divide” in DC, but — apart from the “extreme” libertarian-conservative contingent I just mentioned — I can’t find evidence of it anywhere. Whether the Republicans or Democrats control things, DC still seem to spend more money, expand government, wage needless wars, infringe on liberties, and carry on with the business of generally screwing everything up. They may have a few minor disagreements over percentages, and degrees, and which countries to bomb, and which liberties to annihilate, but the result is always the same.

They win. We lose.

Wake up, America.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

175 Responses to Stop rooting for “bipartisanship”

  1. Em says:

    The fact that so many people are in such a hurry to elect Matt Walsh for president is a little disconcerting. I mean, I adore pretty much every word he writes. He is intelligent, articulate and he seems to have a strong moral compass. But seriously guys, however brilliant, they are just words. Perhaps you’d like to know a little more about the actions of someone before you put them in the White House?
    No offense, Matt. Just saying…

  2. Scribbles says:

    I think it reflects on the lack of decent alternatives.

    • Em says:

      That’s for sure!

    • Jen says:

      I agree, except we have done it to ourselves. When we expect a pristine, untouched person who has never done anything wrong in their entire lives, the choices are going to be very limited. They can’t have any blemishes and in order to be electable have to be as bland and vague as possible. You can blame the media, they live for torrid backgrounds and salacious stories, but we are the ones who consume it and demand more. Just something that I’ve been thinking about for awhile now.

      • Dorothy says:

        That’s an interesting perspective. And sadly, true. Politicians can’t run honestly because weaknesses and blemishes are exploited by the other side. Then there are those who if they ran honestly wouldn’t get two steps past the front door, but those people exist in every walk of life. Politicians need to be viewed as human. Not angels or more often demons. Not gods or kings. Human. Me and you. We’re all just human.

  3. Mark Pichaj says:

    What complicates this, is that smart. moral men & women can disagree on the function of government, and the ideology that informs that function. This means, that sometimes, so that a greater good is not violated, compromise *is* warranted. The trick, here is finding out which moral question (e.g., not compromising about putting a generation of Jews to death in concentration camps) is operative and compelling.

    What, in this particular situation, esp. complicates this…is of course, the federal government, must, morally, legally & constitutionally, pay its debts. The group that “blinked” in this instance, is the group that knew this, that values absolute morality above political expediency. (Politics, after all, is not war, and this is not the time or the issue over which to pay the last full measure of devotion. May that day never come.)

    The group that held on to the bitter end to establish their own ideological agenda is the group that was willing to default on this promise and responsibility. They believe that, having won the election last November, they have the mandate to fundamentally transform our economy and our heath care system. That’s what most Americans, wittingly or not, chose last November. How will they choose next November?

    • Salty Bear says:

      There is no moral high ground in a position where citizens are taxed like subjects to support programs we can’t afford which run contrary to the nature and letter of our constitutioanl republic. There is no absolute morality in saying, “Well, we just sent 4000 kids off to get blown up in the Middle East, and it was expensive, so we’re taking your hard-earned money by force. It’s the right thing to do.”

      And politics is most definitely war. I almost repeated the whole “politics is war without bloodshed” thing, but then I remembered how political the issues of abortion and civilian disarmament (commonly misnomered as “gun control”) are.

      You’re spot on about them thinking they have some kind of mandate though. Every time they don’t get their way, we hear this tirade of how “everyone” agrees with them and how “common sense” their measures are.

    • k-ro says:

      True…for the most part. The RINOs who caved (“blinked”) didn’t do so based on some sense of morality or greater good, but because, at the core, they are ideologically equivalent to the leftists/statists who demanded compliance. Although most of them wanted the world at large to believe otherwise, all parties involved knew that there was no possible way the US would or could default on its obligation. Even without a resolution to fund the government, and even with a “whopping” 17% of the government shut down, and even without an increase in the debt ceiling, tax revenue is still rolling in, to the tune of $250 billion per month. This is enough to fund all interest on the debt, all social security obligations, all veterans benefits, justice and law enforcement agencies, federal employee pensions, Medicare, food stamps, and all essential general government functions. In fact, the U.S. Constitution forbids defaulting on the debt (14th Amendment, Section 4), so the government is not allowed to default even if it wanted to. Not raising the debt ceiling would, instead, simply require a re-prioritization of the federal government’s expenses and spending. There is no way we would or could default. That was nothing more than a bogus argument designed to frighten ignorant Americans and maximize the negative perception of the conservative caucus in Congress. So, yes, we must pay our bills; but the “compromise” reached by the moderate branch of the Republican party had nothing to do with allowing us to do so.

      • Well said, k-ro. Why is it that, when the cameras are rolling, no one in the Republican Party can present the truth as articulately as you just did. Either they are have no grasp of reality, are the most inept communicators on the planet, or they are complicit (as your post suggests) in perpetuating the lie.

      • Agreed…and it allowed a ‘crisis’ to hide the fact the POTUS is trying to fast track the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), an expansive system of global governance that would deal a mortal blow to American sovereignty and our Constitution.

    • A very sound comment. They pretty well had us over a barrel, with a lot of help with most of the news media. Possibly something can be done to curb the reckless spending on giveaway programs in the weeks ahead, but don’t hold your breath. It will be dirty, greasy, grimey politics on the left.

      • A very sound comment Mark Pichaj. They pretty well had us over a barrel, with a lot of help with most of the news media. Possibly something can be done to curb the reckless spending on giveaway programs in the weeks ahead, but don’t hold your breath. It will be dirty, greasy, grimey politics on the left.

  4. April says:

    well much as I might sound crazy, but I really think we are living in the end of our empire. its human nature to destroy things. my brother is a very politically charged person and he gets on me because I am not. I am told that it is because people like me that the government is failing. I reply with well in the way that I am a people and people are doomed to repeat history. how many governments have risen and fallen. how many times in history has the words’ nations’ borders stayed so unchanged? we live in a universe whos main law is change. I say if you are worried for your children, teach them fundamental things like where food really comes from and how to make it come out of the ground for themselves. Maybe take up hobbies like needlecraft or a trade that they could barter their work for pay. knowing how to use a wii game system in an aftermath society wont net them much. I know this sounds crazy, but I am sure that there were people within the Roman empire, Byzantine Empire (pick any of them out of your world history book) that felt the changes in air and were called crazy. like I tell my husband, its like the insurance policy on the car. we hope that we never have to use it but we are glad if something does happen that we have it. and I don’t mean run to your sporting goods store and go nuts on survival equipment. you need 1.76 acres to feed a family of 4 unless you learn to use vertical gardening. I suggest we start using open spaces as a community to start gardens that everyone pays into if they want to be a part of it and in the end everyone who is part of it gets part of it. The if we don’t have a social collapse benefit is: If we show the government that we can rely on ourselves we might have a chance to give our kids something better. Currently we are a bit too reliant on them to have any bargaining power.

  5. Bz says:

    Thank goodness I have found a ‘man of reason’ (well, I’m happily married to one and I know a few), but what a breath of fresh air.
    If I may, I would like to impart a few words of advise (because I, selfishly, want to keep reading you):
    1. Write for yourself, not others… as it can become response-seeking.
    2. Take it easy. I remember reading a study about bloggers: 70+ %, I think, burnout within the first year+. (if you do #1, #2 should not be as much as an issue).

    Anyway, am glad I found you. You are wise beyond your years. Just remember to never let your head get bigger than the space it physically takes. I probably say this (sadly enough) because “we” (the collective) yearn so much for someone of reason to only have them become corrupted in some way. Cynical, isn’t it. Alas, often true. You do sound grounded though. And I’m sure you thank you dad.

    Keep the perspective coming. It needs to be heard and, maybe, just maybe you be a slow small growing volcanic island that is just the thing to start turning the tide.
    Thanks!
    “Bz”
    p.s. I think folks on the dole should not get to vote: kind of goes along with your recent post on welfare stealing.

  6. Jim DeVinney says:

    Given his argument that bipartisanship is bad we would not be a nation because we couldn’t have gotten past the New Jersey Plan vs the Virginia Plan. In today’s political climate a small number of delegates would be holding out on the Virginia Plan because of a very real fear of smaller states not getting equal representation. But the larger states recognized and understood their quite valid concern and adjusted the Virginia Plan. So because of Bipartisanship we are a nation today.

    • Rich says:

      There is an important existential distinction between an agreement between two parties on a specific issue (compromise) and a system that values agreement above everything else (bipartisanship).

    • The point being, it’s essential for parties to be able to hold out for what they believe is important or we fall victim to what Jefferson called ” the tyranny of the majority.” Bipartisanship for the sake of avoiding conflict or having to make the tough choices is merely cowardice.

    • Lauren says:

      There’s a big difference between giving in to a bully and talking out a problem to a point of compromise.

      What would have happened if New Jersey or Virginia had refused to give in on any point, and insisted that everyone else was stupid who didn’t side with them? Then forced the issue when the other side agreed to a small compromise and said “No, it’s all or nothing.”

      That’s a bully, not a compromise.

  7. Isiah Friedlander says:

    I can’t say I agree that they came to a bipartisan agreement. The main reason they relented was that it was the end of the line for this game of chicken the White House and Congress were engaged in. This entire debacle was the direct result of a lack of bipartisanship. We were set to default 10/17/13. They came to an agreement 10/16/13. If there truly was any bipartisanship, then we wouldn’t have come this close to default. Whether or not they don’t agree with each other, or hit each other over the head with canes should take second place to keeping things running period. It doubt having folks from both sides literally at each other’s throats would take us further from any possible governmental paralysis in the future.

  8. L. G. says:

    For the first time since I started following your blog, you have scared me, and made me think that you are quite possibly insane.
    I found your blog because you praised stay at home mothers. I followed you because of that.
    But…the idea that you represent here: that communication and compromise are bad, and that dueling and murdering each other over ideals…this scares the bloody heck out of me.

    • Sherry says:

      L.G., newsflash…it’s a scary world and it’s about to get a lot scarier. Matt is saying we desperately need more people to stand firm in the fight for our liberties and our economic survival. The fate of this still fairly young nation just may depend on it. Abraham Lincoln knew it even if it cost us a very bloody civil war. Some things are worth fighting for! Now if you choose to bury your head back in the sand or scamper back into your hole and pretend everything is just grand and perfect, I’m sorry for you when this disaster does finally awaken you. Have a nice day!

      • J Green says:

        Love patronizing tone, and the passive-aggressive ending to your comment.- not!

      • Fred says:

        Sherry,

        Your heart is in the right place. But please consider the history of A Lincoln. His presidency led to the end of state sovereignty, which ultimately led us to this mess. He is the last person I would site to defend our constitutional liberties as he opened the floodgates of federal tyranny. He was one of the first of a long line of US politicians who felt their own version of the US superseded what the founders created.

        I was extremely offended when the left tried to ascend our boy-king prez to the loftiness of that mythical god we call Abraham LIncoln. I now realize they have more in common with each other than I ever imagined.

        What Lincoln did was illegal. He actually gave Obama the blueprint for what’s probably coming our way. Mark my words, the federal government is poised to inflict violence on it’s citizens in a dizzying number of ways, including military force. The War Between the States may pale in comparison.

  9. Graham says:

    The only ideological differences between the “two” parties now are social issues. Anything related to protecting our personal liberties, the role of government, fiscal policy or foreign policy they’re on the exact same page. On the issues that will vastly determine our children’s way of life there aren’t two parties. There is only the “protect the status quo at all costs party”. If change is going to occur it will only come from the people

  10. Erika says:

    Some of us are cheering the agreement because it means we can go back to work and get paid. And being employed is something to be happy about.

    That said, obviously I agree that our elected officials should be doing good things rather than just things. And discussion of options, trying to find the best solution, is a good thing. However, our 2 party system means that there are only ever 2 options being considered and that is certainly not the best thing.

  11. The sad and sorry state of affiars is that our envisioned ideal of what the political process should look like hasn’t existed for quite some time. Money in politics will ensure we never have an “honest” system again. Deceit and intrusive control has always been at the heart of gov’t. As it loses its grip be prepared to see it flex even harder in vain. This rot is multifaceted and goes to the core of our culture. We are supposed to have a culture based on the familial ties and traditions handed down. Without a family we’ve lost that “old-school” societal glue. You’ve got 16 year olds being raised by Call of Duty, Porn, Pot and a slew of abusive, superficial relationships. Welcome to the new America.

    • Fred says:

      Info. It took 60 years for this process to take place. It will take 60 years to reverse. Long after we’re gone. Where do you start? All changes starts small.

  12. Justin says:

    As much as I agree with much of what you said I can not help but comment on one specific notion you posed. (“wage needless wars”) I hate when people say this. As an Infantryman of 11 years now I find it hard to believe that most of those that bicker on these matters, be it in DC or via the internet, truely have any inclanation of which wars/occupations are needless. Unless you have walked the streets of that war-torn (most of which were ravaged before our arrival) and see the faces of the people day in and day out. Worked with the local nationals to help them rebuild their infrastructure or train their soldiers to take back…no to take the freedoms of democracy so many of Americans squander. If you have not done these things how can you tell me it was needless. I believe that the artist Macklemore said it best in his song “Same Love” he says “It’s human rights for everybody, there is no difference.” Now in that song he was speaking of Gay rights however I believe it stands true in this instance as well. It also frustrates me that the same people that pushed civil rights, that pushed gay rights, that have pushed “human” rights will still act as though the people of these nations, more specificaly Iraq, were not “human” enough to qualify. Sorry I went off on a bit of a rant.

    • PB says:

      Justin, thank you for your service — for your willingness to place your own body between us and the destruction of war. I have never done this, and I hope that it will never be necessary… so I can only try to express gratitude for the sacrifice you are willing to make.

      As much as I want to agree with you, I feel that yours isn’t the whole picture (just as we may not be seeing the whole picture). In all likelihood, we *created* the problems that we claimed to “fix” by going to war. If we had truly treated the children of the Middle East as valuable, then it’s likely that Osama Bin Laden would never have gone on his rampage in the first place.

      If you would, please watch this all the way through; it’s a few years old, and yes, it features a controversial figurehead, but the points appear to be valid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ldfDCSG6DQ

  13. KC says:

    Really? Wake up? In the most widely mocked comment of recent days Mark Needham, the head of the Heritage Action told Fox news that “everybody understands the we’re not going to be able to repeal this law until 2017 and that we have to win the Senate and win the White House.” So the “voices of true opposition” that you named just put the entire country through this drama, compromised democratic process, and lost an estimated 20 billion dollars in revenue from the economy for the sake of a fundraising effort that they themselves now claim was impossible to win. Your hero, Ted Cruz, raised 1.19 million for himself alone.

    I am all for a pox on both their houses–except in the instance where Heritage Action, Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, far from being “true conservatives” engage this country in a wasteful exercise in fundraising that only benefits themselves. The prospect of Republicans losing the House is now more likely, and of winning the Senate and White House more remote. Nobody wins but Cruz. Wake up indeed.

  14. KC says:

    It is also worth mentioning that when Boehner addressed his caucus to recommend that they NOT blow through the debt ceiling, he didn’t cite the ruined of the US economy or the destabilizing of world markets as the rationale. No, no: he said that to continue in the fight risked the House majority that the Republicans now enjoy.

    What a bunch of craven bores.

  15. Sherry says:

    Thank you, Matt, for being a “rebellious, obstructionist, extremist, argumentative, passionate, loud, stubborn, courageous ideologue!” We need more people like you!

  16. Elizabeth says:

    I have to quibble with one thing you said here – that this agreement and raising the debt ceiling leads to the government spending more money and increasing the debt. The money has actually been spent already – due to a budget that was passed by both houses of congress and which the president is then legally required to sign. Raising the debt ceiling allows the government to pay for that debt they’ve already incurred. Similarly it’s as if you were legally required by someone to spend a certain amount on your credit card, but you then need that same person’s explicit permission to write the check to pay your credit card bill. It’s a pretty dumb system. No other country in the world has the concept of a debt ceiling because it is understood that when the government passes a given budget they are ALSO agreeing to pay for the debt that said budget will result in.

  17. Sally says:

    Right now, the politicians are giving us the choice of a little bit of poison every day or a lot of poison every day. Either choice will kill us, folks, one option just takes longer. If we want to live, we have to say “no” to the poison. Matt’s right. I’m sick of compromise, I’m sick of agreement. I’m sick of watching my hardworking productive children struggle because so much of their money is being taken to pay for those who absolutely refuse to produce. Enough is enough already. I say “no” to the poison.

  18. Rachel says:

    I could just kiss you! I LOVED this. I read a comment on your most recent post saying that they used to enjoy reading your blog, but now all you do is spew anger . . . . Blech! I’m so sick of people getting all offended every time someone gets annoyed enough to actually say anything in a LOUD voice! 🙂 GOOD GRIEF!!! SOMETHINGS ARE WORTH GETTING HOT AND BOTHERED ABOUT!!!! Matt, thanks for being a big ol’ loud voice. I love it!

  19. xparadoxnu says:

    Thanks for the analogy as it helps me understand where the problem lies. Hint: you were lying naked on the ground after your mugging……and they did not take your clothes.

  20. JErying says:

    There needs to be a national poll set up to vote if we the American people, will be putting up with more of this. Seriously. There needs to be a clause written that if congress does not complete their jobs in congress by the set date or deadline, their positions will be re-evaluated by their state that they represent. I.E. if they keep missing deadlines, pointing fingers, not working with co-workers and effecting others within the U.S.(such as putting people out of a job for an unset amount of time) they can potentially lose their job. The American people are technically their “boss”. Would a boss allow this kind of behavior? Especially on a reoccurring basis?

    • That is why we have elections every couple years. We already DO this. People need to take an interest and realize that the government works for US, not the other way around, so we ARE the boss. We’re that boss who is not paying any attention to what his employees are doing. They’re “working” and doing whatever they please while we’re sitting back taking a nap, oblivious to everything that goes on. When review time comes around we nod and say “Well, you showed up, half-assed your way through the stuff you thought I’d notice if you ignored it, ignored the stuff you decided was unimportant, got paid and went home.” And then we decide they’re doing a fine job, keep them employed, and then go back to sleep til it’s time to do it again.

      • Fred says:

        Kristina,

        Each new batch of federal politicians makes the same mistake. They become intoxicated by power, celebrity, and the mental-masturbation that they call “bi-partisianship”. They arrive one way, but once they’re there, they suddenly realize, “I’ve won the lottery!”. Sorry, they ain’t giving it up. Regardless of your viewpoint of Cruz, it’s pathetic that he and only a handful of others tries to do anything to stop the madness. This is all the proof you need: 99.9% of these fools will never give up their winning ticket.

        No. We don’t fix this by elections. We fix this by forcing the states to claim their sovereignty. If you haven’t, read Levin’s “Liberty Ammendments”. I don’ think this is the ultimate blueprint, but, it’s a heck of a good start.

    • Fred says:

      JErying. I would not suggest that this problem can be solved from within. The federal government/bureaucracy is bloated, terminal, and destined to fail. Like the USSR imploded, the federal government of the USA is doomed to follow.

      Take your energy and work with your state representation. Force them to reclaim their sovereignty and put a true obstacle in the way of the federal government.

      The executive, legislative, and judicial branch of the feds all have failed miserably to protect The People. It’s now up to The States to step in and do so.

  21. Pingback: Stop Rooting For “Bipartisanship” - Liberty Crier

  22. fontofworlds says:

    What, you mean those guys HAVE a budget? I thought Obama refused to sign one for the entire tenure of his presidency?

    Besides, this shutdown was over Obamacare. Obamacare appears to be eating itself, so what’s the deal of letting Obama get away with playing autocrat? He can piss away all our money regardless of what’s happening. If the government is running, maybe there could be some accountability. At least it would be possible, you know?

    I have no love for the Republicans, but this gesture could work for us better than we think– even to those Republican’s detriment.

    This was a political knife fight, not business as usual. We have yet to see who’s going to make it to the hospital first, because that’s the only way to know who won. Could be the Democrats who arrive DOA– remember, Democratic Senators are on record saying that they don’t care about kids with cancer, people losing their homes, military death benefits, or veterans and visitors getting kicked out of national monuments and deliberately being treated badly. The list goes on. They just care about getting what they want. Period. It’s on the public record. People who get that– no matter what color they bleed– will NOT be happy about this. The Obamacare fiasco will be there to remind them until the Senatorial vote in 2014.

    The Democrats have NOT won. They do NOT come off this smelling like a rose. I think the Senate is going to get a good scrubbing. Everyone is going to be punished. THAT is not a bad thing.

    I think the Republicans are going into the rope selling business. You can’t make martyrs out of the other side, if the other side hangs itself.

  23. AJ says:

    They literally kissed their own butts huh?? I love reading your blog, you are an excellent speaker. but maybe your writing skills need help?

  24. Billy Mitchell says:

    For an author who is so quick to proclaim that he is a “logical and rational” person, there sure are a lot of logic errors in this blog.

  25. Michael says:

    Ignore history much? Every aspect of our government and the design of our nation came from compromises made by the Founding Fathers. I mean the two house of Congress, how they are elected, how many representatives in each, the office of the president, which branch got what powers, dividing powers, the Bill of Rights, do I need to go on? When two government officials of two separate ideological goals come together, compromise, and come to an agreement it usually means that both won and both lost. Which means that their constituents (and you’ll be hard pressed to find a Congressmen where constituents constitute the people that elected them over the people who paid for their campaigns) should have gotten something they wanted in exchange for something they didn’t want to give up. In this instance Matt, you didn’t get everything you wanted, I’m assuming that you didn’t want to see the US default on it’s debts, don’t act like a child in the aftermath. A functional multiparty government must find a way to compromise otherwise they spend all their time arguing and nothing gets done; strange to me that you’d be ok with paying Congressmen who do nothing but argue (you should think on that). Lastly didn’t the guys who robbed you get the job done? Doesn’t your analogy work just as well if I change the story to doctors trying to save your life, they stop arguing over where to start and both start where they are experts, thus saving your life? It’s a constant theme in your work, Matt, you have zero respect for history (child labor law post) and how it applies to today.

    “Always the future this one, never where he was, what he was doing”

    • J Green says:

      Michael, your comment makes far more sense than Matt’s mental meanderings.

      • I don’t understand all of the respondents on this blog who appear to be kneeling at the altar of “compromise.” Yes, compromise is important, but not when it causes you to abandon your core values. The economic slavery we are forcing upon our children and grandchildren as a result of our refusal to stop spending is something worth shutting down the government over. This a painful situation, but it’s not going to go away. We all have to bite the bullet and make sacrifices, no matter how much it hurts in the short-term, or we can continue to kick the can down the road and force future generations to bear the burden once we’re all dead and buried.

  26. Rick says:

    Libertystickers.com has a bumper sticker which reads:
    “Bipartisanship is like double penetration”

  27. J Green says:

    Matt, I’m starting to see a pattern that for every post where you have something worthwhile to say, you have several more which are bullshit exercises in flawed thinking.

  28. Pingback: Stop rooting for “bipartisanship” | Becca's Cottage

  29. Jeffrey Locke says:

    Our children’s future and constitutional limits should be paramount in our minds. Down with bipartisonship!

  30. What a profoundly irresponsible sentiment to espouse. Next thing, we’ll be venerating Timothy McVeigh for his anti-government stance.

  31. My husband and I flippin’ LOVE you!

  32. Lauren says:

    There is a huge difference between compromise and bipartisanship. Bipartisanship is a yes-man’s excuse when he gives in entirely and offers on a platter everything he said he would not give.

    There’s a big difference between giving in to a bully and talking out a problem to a point of compromise.

    “My way or the highway” is not compromise. It’s bullying. Claiming bipartisanship and slapping each other on the back over their success at giving in to a bully doesn’t change the definition.

  33. Reasonable says:

    I have a hard time believing all of your personal “anecdotes.”

  34. Right on point here. However, I think there are times when at least some give and take needs to be exchanged. You are not going to get everything in life. We all know that and have to recognize this even children. (A post I wrote on that same theme – http://larrydbernstein.com/three-lessons-children-can-learn-from-the-government-shutdown/)

  35. TJ says:

    Each and every time I read one of your blogs I think, “I’d like to contribute a comment”…but the truth is you’ve already said it so well, there’s just nothing to add. New fan here~! Keep the critical thinking and reason coming! With Gratitude.

  36. That was really good. Should be required reading at both the high school and college levels. Most post grads could use it too.

  37. Breech says:

    Matt, you have a lot of good things to say in your blogs, but this isn’t one of those things.

    While it’s hinted at, the problem with the government is not that there is a lack of bipartisanship, or there is too much of it. The problem is its members are more concerned about getting re-elected than effectively governing. That is why there is so much energy going into perpetual campaigns and the redrawing of the electoral map. Paramount is to keep your job, everything else is an afterthought.

    That being said, the list of nations that have austerity’d their way to prosperity is exceedingly short. The fact that the only developed nations that do not have a national healthcare plan have been the US, Mexico and Turkey and it still has worse health outcomes than most OECD nations is telling (the US ranks 27th in life expectancy, below the median for all OECD nations, the UK with its internationally ridiculed system ranks 13th and spends far less than the US). Many seem to gloss over the fact that uninsured people who receive treatment and cannot pay have always been paid for by the state (higher taxes) or the health care provider (higher premiums) with no cost controls in place. Like it or not, you are already paying for uninsured people to have healthcare, you are just paying for the most expensive.form of health care – emergency room visits.

    Realistically, if you are truly determined to cut spending, the place to look would be the massive military budget. The US spends as much as the next highest 12 nations combined on the military. You could cut military spending in half and still be double the next closest nation’s budget.

    Yet, the story is that “Obamacare” will triple people’s premiums (no doubt a reference to Fox news report on the Mangione family – which turns out to contain elements of the truth, like they are a family and they need to buy medical insurance, but not much beyond that as Mr. Mangione works for a group trying to abolish the ACA) and ruin the country.

    I guess in a sense Matt is right. Sometimes compromise is a bad thing. It’s never wise to be in agreement with people who do not have a grasp of facts or an understanding of how the world actually works – as the Tea Party so ably demonstrate.

  38. KC says:

    From arch-conservative columnist Ross Douthat:

    A Teachable Moment

    One of the themes running through my various government shutdown posts has been the importance of seeing the current wave of right-wing populism clearly and weighing its merits and demerits judiciously. That requires understanding the strategic thinking that led to the shutdown in the first place … acknowledging the legitimate sense of political disappointment that underlies the right’s inclination toward intransigence … and most importantly, recognizing that relative to the G.O.P. establishment (such as it is), today’s right-wing populists often have better political instincts and better policy ideas.

    But with tonight’s vote done and the government open once again, I want to return to the theme of my Sunday column, and stress once more the essential absurdity of the specific populist gambit we’ve just witnessed unfold, drag on, and now finally collapse. However you slice and dice the history, the strategery, and the underlying issues, the decision to live with a government shutdown for an extended period of time — inflicting modest-but-real harm on the economy, needlessly disrupting the lives and paychecks of many thousands of hardworking people, and further tarnishing the Republican Party’s already not-exactly-shiny image — in pursuit of obviously, obviously unattainable goals was not a normal political blunder by a normally-functioning political party. It was an irresponsible, dysfunctional and deeply pointless act, carried out by a party that on the evidence of the last few weeks shouldn’t be trusted with the management of a banana stand, let alone the House of Representatives.

    This means that the still-ongoing intra-conservative debate over the shutdown’s wisdom is not, I’m sorry, the kind of case where reasonable people can differ on the merits and have good-faith arguments and ultimately agree to disagree. There was no argument for the shutdown itself that a person unblindered by political fantasies should be obliged to respect, no plausible alternative world in which it could have led to any outcome besides self-inflicted political damage followed by legislative defeat, and no epitaph that should be written for its instigators’ planning and execution except: “These guys deserved to lose.”

    And it’s important for conservatives and Republicans to recognize this, and remember it, because what just happened can happen again, and next time the consequences may be more severe. The mentality that drove the shutdown — a toxic combination of tactical irrationality and the elevation of that irrationality into a True Conservative (TM) litmus test — may have less influence in next year’s Beltway negotiations than it did this time around, thanks to the way this has ended for the defunders after John Boehner gave them pretty much all the rope that they’d been asking for. But just turn on talk radio or browse RedState or look at Ted Cruz’s approval ratings with Tea Partiers and you’ll see how potent this mentality remains, how quickly it could resurface, and how easily Republican politics and American governance alike could be warped by it in the future.

    So for undeluded conservatives of all persuasions, lessons must be learned. If the party’s populists want to shape and redefine and ultimately remake the party, they can’t pull this kind of stunt again. If the party’s leadership wants to actually lead, whether within the G.O.P. or in the country at large, they can’t let this kind of stunt be pulled again. That’s the only way in which this pointless-seeming exercise could turn out to have some sort of point: If it’s long remembered, by its proponents and their enablers alike, as the utter folly that it was.

  39. KC says:

    My favorite quote: that the current House “shouldn’t be trusted with the management of a banana stand.”

    I won’t pretend to be conservative–nothing like–but the current insanity that grips the Republican party will lead to its inevitable demise. I don’t relish the thought. I think that any party operating unchallenged becomes fat with power and irresponsible–and I am certain that the unfettered operations of Democrats will lead that way. That way be monsters. It is important that liberals and Democrats (and no, they are not the same thing) are reminded that assistance can produce need as well as relieve it. I absolutely cheered Rand Paul’s principled stance against drone attacks (although I would have preferred that he stood for principle when these and other atrocities were taking place under George Bush–but better late than never). I think that presidential hubris and government overreach should be checked on drones and the NSA. I think that the need for entitlement reform is obvious–although perhaps not obviously now. As Breech rightly claims, there are few examples of austerity working as a way of getting out of a recession: France, Germany, Britain have all implemented austerity measures to their detriment. Our GDP is currently several percentage points higher, and our unemployment many percentage points lower, than any other industrialized nation. The International Monetary Fund largely credits the stimulus and the lowering of interest rates in the US as the cause of our better outcomes in navigating what is a global economic recession (see IMF report, Oct. 2012).

    So we need a Republican party and strong conservative voice for the sake of our political health. I think that we even need several political parties. What we don’t need is manufactured crises so that Ted Cruz can raise funds for his next election. For all the talk of the harmful effects of the ACA (Obamacare), this was the plan touted by the Heritage Foundation as late as 2008–before Obama took it up and attempted to implement it as policy. It was touted by the Heritage Foundation as the ALTERNATIVE for a government single-payer healthcare system. This would be the same Foundation that runs Heritage Action which just whispered into House Republican ears: “burn it down.” ACA is an enormous group plan–that’s all–entirely engineered and operated by PRIVATE health insurers. The government runs the exchanges on which private insurance is purchased. That’s all. Government involvement, such as it is, includes the extension of Medicaid to cover lower-income people, and the provision of subsidies for those people not covered by Medicaid or Medicare (and who qualify for assistance). This is hardly end-times. The program was implemented in miniature in Massachusetts by then-governor Mitt Romney and has been working quite well ever since (except for a horrible roll-out of the exchanges, which seems to be a pattern).

    Since many of you reading here seem to have closed your ears to anything but the echo chamber of Fox News and conservative talk radio, you almost certainly won’t listen to me. But I want to point out that after years of obstruction, Republications in the California legislature no longer have to show up for work. They are such an overwhelming minority after the last election that their votes no longer count. That way be monsters.

  40. alice says:

    i don’t see how your argument says anything. are you advocating for the kind of primitive standoff that led to the death of alexander hamilton? are you somehow hinting that, hey, our current inability to come to an agreement wasn’t immature enough, look at our forebears and how they dealt with things?

    it is exactly this kind of innane, type 4 fundamentalist, deep rolling (ala hannibal) bullshit that keeps the country from progressing, or even coming to a semblance of a rational agreement. “let’s resist all attempts at compromise. let’s never give in. let’s show the world how it is possible to stay still through a net zero velocity… no, you know what, let’s actually go BACKWARDS. hey, in fact, let’s go back to the good ol’ days when we could settle things like gentlemen and break out the guns. let’s go back to a time when things were simpler, more ‘constitutional’, none of the complexities of the modern world, more racial homogenization, more ‘family values’, more tacit persecution of minorities of all kinds, those homos, queers, freaks, geeks…”

    isn’t that what you REALLY want? or did i misinterpret your call for that “better time” when there was MORE partisanship, stubborn-headedness and violence?

    well, give me a break, i kind of wound up in this wonderland blog by mistake. it’s just so odd to stumble into this kind of echo chamber every now and then, with all of its groundless hollow self-reaffirmations…

  41. Milksteak Boiled Over Hard says:

    “Here’s the attitude we all ought to have towards DC:

    BEST OPTION: Do the right thing.

    SECOND BEST OPTION: Do nothing.

    WORST OPTION: Do the wrong thing.

    This is a very simple concept, why do so many struggle to understand it?”

    This is the kind of unphilosophic nonsense that passes for wisdom in libertarian circles. “Do nothing” is not necessarily the second best option. It can be the best option or the worse option. If you can’t think of a thought experiment proving either case, you’re not trying hard enough.

    Yes, yours is a simple concept for a simple minded libertarian. Grow up please, so we can begin discussing like adults what it means for a system to be just and how to achieve said just system.

  42. Dennis Gagne says:

    I agree wholeheartedly. As I continuously heard the same tune from both conservatives and liberals , that congress wasn’t doing it’s job because they couldn’t come to a solution, I had to wonder if they even cared what the fight was al about. They just wanted a solution no matter what. We are in big trouble aren’t we?

  43. ph says:

    Thank you for this post i agree completely!!! I work from home here is my site if anyone is interested. http://PocketMoneyJob.com/?id=phthree

Comments are closed.