Bipartisanship, Writ Halperin

Steve Benen’s take down of Mark Halperin’s logical twister regarding the stimulus and bipartisanship is a must-read example of how the fetishization of bipartisanship is illogical and leads to anti-Democratic narratives. It’s absurd to argue that it was Obama’s responsibility to please the right wing of the House GOP caucus by throwing Democratic ideas — ideas Obama campaigned on — out the window in order to win Republican votes. But that’s what the pleas for bipartisanship are. Moreover, it’s clear that Halperin and the Conventional Wisdom creating crowd around him care more about the makeup of a vote than the outcome of a vote. A compromise bill was passed with a strong majority yesterday; it’s incidental that no Republicans voted for it, as it did in fact contain concessions that they had asked for. Halperin’s analysis makes no sense. Democrats listening to Halperin’s analysis would make even less sense, but I have no doubt that it will be an area of deep concern for people on the Hill and anyone in the Whitehouse who thinks the opinions of a hack like Halperin or the votes of regressives in the House caucus should have any bearing on the Obama administration’s stewardship of this country.

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