True Exchange of Ideas Could Lead to Less Partisanship

In  President Obama’s State of the Union address this week he acknowledged  the partisanship that has so frustrated Americans and prevented political action by calling it a “poisoned political era.”

Today he went to a meeting of Republicans.  Obama took questions and defended his positions for more than an hour at the House Republicans Annual Meeting in Baltimore.  It was televised live and that makes it unlike those that former President George W. Bush attended with Democrats during his administration and the one that Obama did last year.  Television provides a transparency that we so desperately need.  After all, seeing is believing and far too often we rely of what others say about an event, speech or document instead of watching, reading and deciding for ourselves. 

During today’s meeting, Republicans voiced anger that their ideas and proposals were ignored by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and said that this culture has pervaded his administration. Republicans handed Obama a book of all their proposals and alternative solutions to current legislative initiatives.  Obama acknowledged fault on both sides, but said he has read Republican suggestions and incorporates the good ones. 

Obama said not having more communication between the legislative leaders of the major parties was “a failure on my part” and that he would try to do more on that issue this year.

Republicans also confronted the president for breaking promises on transparency referring to the many commitments he made during his campaign about televising debates on healthcare.   He defended this by saying most congressional hearings on healthcare were televised on C-SPAN, but did admit it was a legitimate criticism and took responsibility. 

Obama said he was having fun towards the end of the meeting.  You know what?  An intellectual exchange of ideas is fun.  That’s what argument really is.  It’s not name calling and pointing fingers.  We can disagree in the country.  That’s what makes America so great.  In order to be critical thinkers, we must talk and listen to those with different ideas.  Partisanship has prevented this and perhaps today opened the door to a more productive era.

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2 thoughts on “True Exchange of Ideas Could Lead to Less Partisanship

  1. Partisanship means advocating for the positions of one’s party. Not only is there nothing wrong with that, but that’s part of the strength of the country. In debate the country often finds a more correct solution than in enforced silence.

    Name-calling and such is not what partisanship is all about. But it’s probably inevitable in a country with citizens owning a wide variance in maturity levels.

    Where partisanship, even of the most dignified kind, is wrong is when it comes to applying laws and regulations to the entire People in a partisan manner– for the benefit of a Party over the People as a whole.

    Or when news stories are reported (by those who claim to be unprejudiced and even-handed) in a way that it is hoped will [mis]lead news consumers into voting for one candidate over another. And so we have the spectacle of the self-proclaimed fair-minded Dan Rather of CBS holding fund-raisers for candidates of a particular Party in his home state. And not being rebuked by the mainstream journalists themselves for this violation of alleged journalistic ethics.

    Yet open partisanship in the news is nothing new. Ask Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin. But note the term ‘open partisanship’ versus a term such as ‘hidden agenda.’ And note that there used to be more room for everyone to mkae their case in the public venues such as television. Instead it seems every network and news source is actually an advocate for the one Party.

    And judges and such are expected to respect the rights of all regardless of partisanship, and decide election disputes based on the law, not partisanship. But from Florida to Minnesota to Washington state we have seen the opposite.

    President Obama’s call for post-partisanship not only does nothing about these abuses, it has already been shown as a thin cover over more of them. Misleading economic statistics by supposedly non-partisan government sources is just one case in point.

    Sorry for the long reply, but then again, the President’s teleprompter got 70 minutes…. 🙂

  2. It was pretty big of the President to acknowledge fault on both sides when his lackeys (Nancy and Harry…the dim bulb from Searchlight, NV) stiffed any semblance of a conservative voice in crafting their hodgepodge of raising taxes, reducing benefits, & cutting SWEET DEALS for Nebraska, Louisianna, & unions.

    Yes, I can see how Republicans were at fault there. Did they not bow deeply enough when approaching Nancy? Did they now avert their eyes when Barack approached?

    When did it become acceptable to tell bald-faced LIES and not be challenged? Did I imagine the transparency campaign promises, then C-SPAN BEGGING to televise SOMETHING related to the healthcare debate? Why aren’t they being called on this?

    Exchange of ideas is what they’re doing. The problem is they’re not seriously considering the OTHER idea might have merit.

    It’s my way or the highway baby! Throw them ALL OUT of office…but the Democrats in charge first!

    Oh, and why won’t ONE candidate for Governor in the once great state of Illinois come out and say he/she will stand up to the unions who’s overly generous pensions and retirement packages are bankrupting my state? I’m not suggesting cutting those already promised, but how about a two tier system? If you’re in the plan as of today, it won’t change, but starting tomorrow…NOBODY gets into that plan. Here’s a 401K for you to invest YOUR dollars in and we’ll match up to a certain percent…then you’re on your own…JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE!!!

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