Missing bipartisanship? Relax. There’s a lot of it about. Bipartisanship by bifurcation that is. The parties may not be coming together — but they may be coming apart. Where there used to be two, soon, there could be lots.
Arguably, the GOP used to be one party–now it’s at least two. GOP Governors — who actually have to govern– like the stimulus package, for example. Congressional Republicans — who score all sorts of TV time by scoffing — voted 219 to 3 against.
California, the world’s 8th largest economy, is close to broke. The state’s already stopped paying income tax refunds and huge layoffs are in the works. Arnold Schwarzenegger supports the Stimulus bill that would send his state federal spending money. His state party is against it.
All 16 of Florida’s Congressional republicans voted against the Democrats’ Reinvestment plan. The wags at MSNBC and Fox loved their rejectionist game — Joe Scarborough a former Republican congressman from Florida himself called the bill "a steaming pile of garbage." But Florida Governor Charlie Crist, who’s facing a projected $5 billion shortfall in a $66 billion budget, campaigned with the President for the Recovery package. No wonder.
There’s plenty of bipartisanship out there — as each of the parties split.
Before Democrats get too happy, it’s not only a GOP thing. On the Democratic side, there are the neoliberals and the bankers’ friends, and then there’s the huge wave of everyone else. Recession induced job losses stand officially at 3.6 million. Millions more are coming, and yet, for the last six months, the federal government has mostly tapped taxpayer coffers to protect the financial elite — spending public money to buy or guarantee $12 trillion of Wall Streets gambling debts. And Wall Street keeps the profits.
This week, we’ll witness the unseemly spectacle of Tim Geithner, a man who conveniently forgot to pay his taxes on his domestic workers, standing in judgement of over 2 million auto-industry related jobs. The next part of the government loan — not gift — to the auto industry is in the works.
A wave of resentment is growing. A lack of bipartisanship is the least of it. In fact, this could be the age of a tripartisan breakout. What is DC going to do to help the non-elite? Democrats who don’t get ahead of the people wave could be bulldozed right under it.