Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Bipartisanism = Playground Cliques?

Remember back in grade school when kids would segregate themselves into groups or cliques? You didn’t play with kids in the other cliques because they had some other horrible and indefinable “wrongness” about them. They just weren’t “cool.” Maybe they even had (gasp) cooties.

Looking back at those times we can see how silly they really were. I mean, we all just wanted to go play and have fun, right? Just because this kid wore a Star Wars t-shirt (that was me, by the way), and that kid wore a western shirt (that was my brother) didn’t mean they were bad kids, to be shunned as the devil incarnate. They were just kids with different tastes and backgrounds. Isn’t it nice that as adults we don’t participate in such juvenile discrimination any more?

Yeah, right.

They certainly seem to be participating in that kind of juvenile nonsense in Washington D.C. these days. Just look at the process of appointing our new Supreme Court Justice, Judge (now Justice) Alito. This vote was a perfect example of bipartisan politics in action. Only five senators out of 100 “crossed party lines” with one Republican voting against the nomination and four democrats voting for it. That’s 95% voting a strict party line.

Listening to the hearings prior to the vote I was left with the impression that even though Judge Alito was supposedly the man of interest here, the real man of interest was George W. Bush. I honestly don’t think that any of the senators that voted for or against Alito even bothered to base there judgment on the man himself. Oh, they back-pedal and claim any number of insane things to justify their decisions, but let’s face it, the majority of these folks voted for or against Alito only because Bush nominated him. It had less to do with whether he was the right man for the job than it did that a Republican president nominated him. The right side of the aisle wants to support and praise everything that Bush does, and the left side of the aisle wants to hinder everything he does. It doesn’t matter what it is, or whether it’s good for the country, or even if it’s legal. It’s just playground politics.

Of course I’ve never actually met Justice Alito. Maybe he has cooties.

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