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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Compromise: a thing of the past for D.C.

    One thing we should all agree on is that the term “bipartisan support” means relatively nothing today. Everyone from the President of the United States to members of Congress use the term “bipartisanship” in almost every speech. Both Republicans and Democrats are always calling for bipartisan reform, or a bipartisan compromise, but does either of these sides really know the first thing about bipartisanship?

    Bipartisanship hasn’t always been a lost cause. Many moments in our countries’ history have proven that bipartisanship can work. In 1787 during The Great Compromise, members of the Constitutional Convention established a bicameral legislature consisting of both the House and the Senate so that the smaller states could have equal representation in the Senate, and the larger states could have proportional representation in the House. In 1964, the Civil Rights Act hailed bipartisan support, which gave equal rights to all races. Events like the Social Security and Welfare Reforms and the McCain-Feingold Act have also been the result of bipartisan compromise.

    However, the days of working together across party lines to get things done appear to be over. Democrats and Republicans have shown that they do not want to work together for the betterment of the American people. To make matters worse, Democrats and Republicans both condem one another for the lack of bipartisan support.

    Many critics place this bipartisan blame on the Republican Party. Speaker of the House John Boehner is constantly being labeled stubborn and unwilling to budge on certain issues. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has also been scrutinized for blocking bipartisan efforts. Both men have been accused of leading the Republican Party away from solutions. Nobody will disagree that the Republicans have had their share of stubborn, unproductive moments, but do they really have more of these moments than the Democrats?

    After all, it was the Democrat-led Senate who instantly rejected three different bills by the House of Representatives this past summer during the debt debate talks. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid refused to accept any sort of bill from the House of Representatives that did not have what the Democrats wanted in it. What kind of compromise is that? The Republican-led House passed three different versions of the bill and had all three instantly rejected by the Democratic-led Senate.

    If you have ever listened to President Barack Obama speak, he is always calling on bipartisan support in Congress to effectively pass proper legislation. In his book “The Audacity of Hope,” Obama wrote: “genuine bipartisanship assumes an honest process of give and take, and that the quality of the compromise is measured by how well it serves some agreed upon goal.”

    If Obama stayed true to his words he wouldn’t have threatened to instantly veto the different debt debate bills passed by the House of Representatives. The solution to create yet another pointless subcommittee to investigate the debt problem is just further proof that the government lacks bipartisan ability.

    The truth is that neither party is helping this country out. Bipartisanship begins at the top with our leader. We are all taught to lead by example. This doesn’t just include Obama, but rather every other elected official in Washington, D.C. It is time that elected officials put their stubborn attitudes aside and do what’s right for the American people. This doesn’t just mean sitting together during televised speeches. This means getting back to the way compromise has been done in the past. Put aside your childish differences, and save them for debates and election cycles. Americans are counting on their elected officials to get the job done and keep things running efficiently, that’s why they were elected in the first place.

    _­ — Joshua Segall is a management information systems senior. He can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu. _

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