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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Politico has a great look at the great myth of bipartisanship in Washington:
In truth, Democratic offers to reach across the aisle — and Republican demands that they do so — are largely a charade, performed for the benefit of a huge bloc of practical-minded voters who hunger for the two parties to work together and are mystified that it never seems to happen.

The answer is hardly a mystery to Obama or his adversaries. They know that the political incentives driving them toward conflict are vastly stronger than any impulses they may personally harbor for conciliation and compromise.

This ritual — publicly trumpeting the virtues of bipartisanship while privately navigating a Washington status quo with a bias for partisan combat — is playing out across virtually every major issue the White House and Congress confront.

White House officials privately acknowledge they would be lucky to get 1 percent of Republican lawmakers to vote for a final health plan. Right now, they would be happy to get just one vote: that of Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine.

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