Monday, February 16, 2009


That's the news story these days. On the one side, Democrats are accusing Republicans as not being bipartisan because they did not back the stimulus bill. On the other hand, Republicans accuse the Democrats of not being bipartisan because they refused to allow the Republicans to participate in the process.

So, just what is the truth?

Simple - just look at the word BIPARTISAN. By definition, it means "two parties working together to achieve a common goal." In this case, one party did not permit the other to participate.

Here is what actually happened.

The Democrats, led by Nancy Pelosi, refused to include Republican input on this bill. In fact, she literally locked Republicans out of the room while this bill was crafted. Pelosi refused to allow a single Republican House member to include any input whatsoever. She even refused to allow Republicans to present their own version of the stimulus bill, which was half the cost.

Then President Obama, claiming an effort of bipartisanship, conferred with House Republicans. But instead of asking for their input, he said, and I quote, "We won; we get to write the bill." Not exactly a prelude for bipartisanism. In short, he said "Sit down and shut up", and he then called that an effort to reach across the aisle.

He and Pelosi both told house Republicans that they would not be able to participate in crafting the bill, but they both wanted the Republicans to vote for it, to make it "bipartisan". They did not want a bipartisan bill. All they wanted was a bipartisan vote. That is disingenuous.

Here's the problem, folks. If the only "bipartisanism" is in the voting, and not in the creation of a bill, then there is no bipartisanism at all. That is merely "selling out."

If Congress truly wants bipartisanism, they need to allow both parties to contribute to the process. The needs of both parties should be addressed. In that way - and only in that way - do we get a good, fair bill.

Both parties need to help craft a bill. Both parties need to contribute to the ideas and suggestions. Both parties need to discuss it, and make compromises. Then, and only then, should Pelosi or the President ask for a bipartisan vote.

That is not what happens in Pelosi's House. The very day she took over as Speaker in January of 2007, she rewrote the rules for Congress, literally. And one of those rules allowed her to exclude the other party from negotiations. And that is as opposed to bipartisanism as one can get.

To tell Republicans they cannot help write the bills, they cannot make suggestions or adjustments, they cannot make amendments, and they cannot present their own version to the floor, and then they cannot even be present in conference for putting together the final draft, and THEN to tell Republicans they must vote for it or be accused as being obstructionist is such a total dishonesty that it is nothing short of reprehensible.

Perhaps the Democrats - Pelosi, Reid and Obama in particular - should remember an important point. Yes, they won. But every Republican in Congress ALSO won, or they would not be there. They have a right to be heard, and a right to participate. And if the Democrats recognize those rights, and invite the Republicans to participate in the entire process, then we will see bipartisanship. Until then, all we have is the tyranny of Pelosi, fueled by the arrogance of Obama.

By the way - if you earn only $25,000-$30,000, your cost to pay for this bill is only $2,500. But if you earn more than $30,000 and under $100,000, your cost to pay for this bill will be $14,000. Over $100,000? Well, your cost can be as much as $90,000. The ones who get the least from this bill, or nothing at all, will pay the most, by far.


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