Partisan Politics

Off this, from Atrios:

Basically there are people who imagine that there is a supermajority political consensus in this country which is shattered by nasty partisanship from politicians. There’s a belief that fundamental disagreements about how this country should be run come not from voters but from politicians.

I ask you this. And I’m sincerely asking. If you give me numbers I’ll post them. But is there a substantial amount of polling data that actually SAYS Americans are “tired of partisan politics” or “tired of bickering among politicians?” And following up on that, is there any data that says in the last 10 years, the politician perceived as “most biparisan” automatically wins in a landslide? Because otherwise, why are we autowittering on about this bullshit all the time?

Even if there is a poll that shows that, I’m gonna wanna see the questions that were asked, because partisanship is one of those things, like negative campaigning and American Idol, that you say you don’t like in order to make yourself sound like a more high-minded individual. Ask somebody “do you want politicians to cooperate more” and everybody’s gonna say yes. But ask a Republican, “Do you like it when your preferred candidate makes Democrats out to be assraping ax-murderers who eat Christian babies for breakfast while dancing around a virgin sacrifice in a ritual designed to humiliate our troops and give Bin Laden a woody?” and they’re gonna say yes to that, too, and have no idea that there’s a contradiction there. Everybody deplores negative campaigning, says it turns ’em off politics, etc, but then they keep electing the fuckers who fling the most poo during any given balloting period, so fuck Marshall Wittman anyway, with his self-important attempts to rise above it all.

That’s really what it’s about for these “bipartisan” types anyway. They don’t actually want compromise as much as they want to go on the Sunday shows and give interviews about how motherfuckin’ smokin’ fine they are and how all the girlies want them because they can rise above the profession in which they sought employment. I mean, dude. I’ve never understood this attitude. It takes a seriously massive set of cojones to say, “I entered politics to elevate it with my divine presence,” but that’s what we hear all the time, from people like Wittman and Obama and Lieberman and Biden, the “bipartisanship for bipartisanship’s sake” crowd, the gang of 14. As though they’re being better than politics. As though the job for which they fought like rabid dogs is suddenly so distasteful to them that they can barely choke it down.

I do not elect people because I want them to play nicely with one another. I do not elect people hoping they’ll all have a lovely tea party together and kiss and braid each other’s hair. I elect people to watch out for my interests and if that means they have to say rude things about Bill Frist, that cat-killing wax dummy of himself, guess what? I really don’t fucking care. I wouldn’t have even cared so much about Cheney telling Leahy to go fuck himself if Cheney’s only other notable public statement hadn’t been about how it’s dirty to say “lesbian” in public. We have got to get away from this idea that governing isn’t a job anymore, and that these people’s roles, like those of three-year-olds in day care, are to get along with one another and to feel good about themselves.

If you don’t want to be in politics you should get the fuck out and make room for somebody who does.


Update: Agave in comments provides links to two polls with information about people’s feelings on “bipartisanship.”