The San Diego Union Tribune argues in this unsigned editorial that it is an idea whose time has come. Of course, the party that is the focus of this call for "post-partisanship" is not the Democrats, but the GOP with good ’ole Arnie leading the charge to the middle. As the guest of Nancy Reagan at tonight’s GOP 2008 Presidential candidate debate, he plans to inspire the crowd with his mushy middling message.
There is much to criticize in this article and about Arnie’s politics in general--and it would not be hard to do it. The harder thing to do is to consider whether there is anything worthy of serious consideration in this message. I don’t like to admit it, but I think there is.
I think it is certainly true that a great number of people are fed up with the partisan bickering of Republicans and Democrats--both between them and amongst themselves. And, because this is absolutely nothing new, I have a theory about why people seem to think that it is something different. I think it appears to be something different because of the way it is presented in the media. The discord of back-room politics is now front and center on blogs, in the 24 hr. news cycle on TV. Every gaffe a politician makes is subjected to public dissection on talk radio and on the internet and, when he is left for dead, we get to view the autopsy too.
Politics is, and always has been, something of a grueling and dirty business. It may be that a weariness with politics itself is to blame. In the piece by Victor Davis Hanson that I cited below, he makes the case that we absorb ourselves in trivialities like Anna Nicole because they are easier to understand than the difficulties of world affairs. I think that is probably true in domestic politics as well. We have immersed ourselves in the bickering between and amongst Republicans and Democrats because actually understanding and dealing with issues of constitutional import is too difficult. It is much easier to get into the fight between Harry Reid and the President--until, at last, like Anna Nicole--it makes us want to throw up.