- The Washington Times - Monday, March 2, 2009

President Barack Obama’s call for bipartisanship is noble. It is also quaint, if recent history is any guide. The idea that Republicans and Democrats can sit down together merrily at a table, debate back and forth and, despite any disagreements, work together to find a solution is an idea that rarely has come to fruition in the past three-quarters of a century, unfortunately.

In the years after GOP in Congress, one result of which is the New Deal.

For almost 40 years, from 1956 until the Republican takeover in 1994, Democrats controlled both houses of Congress except for a few split Congresses here and there. Bipartisanship basically occurred when Southern Democrats and Northern Democrats worked together, with Republicans getting their voices occasionally heard by siding with one or the other faction when the Democrats had a family fight (for instance, joining Northern Democrats to pass civil rights legislation in the 1960s). Although many Southern Democrats switched to the Republican Party in the 1970s, Democrats still had majorities and continued with the power plays and abuses they were used to: holding phantom hearings, barring Republicans from conferences on bills, and keeping votes open on the floor for hours until they passed were commonplace, along with corruption. When Republicans took over in the 1994, elements of payback took place under House Majority Leader Tom DeLay’s tenure.

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Bipartisanship comes when there are compelling unifying circumstances, such as declaring war on the Thucydides’ comment in the “Peloponnesian War” comes to mind: “The strong do as they will while the weak do as they must.” Make no mistake, it is a Democratic issue.

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