Partisanship Works โ€“ for the Democrats

Partisanship certainly works well for the Democrats when it comes to shaping public opinion and influencing policy. It’s a discipline the Democrats have developed into an art form.

Despite all the talk about reaching “across the aisle,” the Democrats never do. They never yield; they almost never vote for a Republican nominee unless they have safe political cover, they virtually never support a Republican initiative. They hold together with amazing public unanimity when it comes to opposing Republican proposals and bills.

Republicans, on the other hand, are far weaker as a party, nowhere near as steeled and uncompromising with regards to doing battle with the opposition as the Democrats.

There are many high-profile Republicans who are famous for their malleability, perhaps in some misguided desire to appear “reasonable”: John McCain, Lindsey Graham, John Kasich, Susan Collins, Paul Ryan and others often break ranks with Republican initiatives and come out willingly and publicly on the other side.

McCain, as an example, is often highly critical of his Republican Senate colleagues and of President Trump as well. Does McCain think that by displaying such supposed evenhandedness he’ll be accorded credit by the Democrats? He won’t; he’ll just be played for a fool, as so much “See? Even the highly-respected John McCain disagrees with you” PR fodder by both Democratic politicians and the liberal mainstream media. Lindsey Graham, the other half of the Republican Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum twins, also makes frequent anti-Trump statements that he may foolishly think raises his own profile as an independent thinker, but in fact, do nothing more than provide the Democrats with additional ammunition.

The other side is never going to give you credit for being so-called “reasonable” and adopting their position. The point is, one almost never – never -- sees a high-profile Democrat breaking ranks in this way with public comments damaging to their own party.

The Nancy Pelosis, Elizabeth Warrens, and Elijah Cummings of the world all spout a perfectly in-tune Democratic line, every time, every day, no cracks, no exceptions. Their partisanship is perfect, faultless, and pure on every issue. There is never the slightest give or compromise or movement towards common ground. This intentional inflexibility yields them huge benefits: by striking a harder, unblinking posture, when there is any give to be given, it’s the Republicans who always give in first.

Once a policy is proposed or a nominee presented, the Democrats unfailingly take a uniform position: all their talking points are coordinated, there is no public dissention among them or in-house squabbles that inadvertently leak out.

Above all, their positions are presented as being unarguably superior, more beneficial to the country and more morally evenhanded and compassionate for the populace. There may have been debates and arguments about ObamaCare amongst Democrats behind closed doors, but the Democrats’ public face was one of complete support for the plan. Contrast that to the Republicans’ well-publicized bickering and inability to agree on an ObamaCare replacement bill of their own, a public disagreement that gave the Democrats and the liberal media ample ammunition with which to criticize what they saw as the Republicans’ inexcusable lack of preparedness and forethought on the matter.

Democratic Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer never gives an inch to the other side. He recently said that there will be no vote for a new FBI Director until a special prosecutor is appointed. The liberal media support Democrats when they hold the process hostage in support of a Democratic position, but the mainstream media would never do that do for the Republicans. The media hailed Harry Reid’s brilliant manoeuvring to bypass normal Senate procedures and pass ObamaCare on the arcane technicality of a reconciliation vote, but the same liberal media excoriated the Republicans for changing Senate rules by means of the “nuclear option” in order to confirm the incredibly well-qualified Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch in the face of arbitrary Democratic obstinacy.

The Democrats see bipartisanship as nothing more than misguided weakness and any legislation that results from it as being bad for the country and bad for their electoral fortunes. They are justifiably secure in the knowledge that the liberal mainstream media (by far, still the dominant source of opinion-influencing information from which the undecided swing voters get their news) will cast their down-the-line partisan positions as being unified around a solid core of laudable values, while characterizing Republicans who differ from their conservative orthodoxy as proof of the questionable merits of their party’s positions.

Partisanship works for the Democrats. It makes them tougher to defeat as political opponents, because there is no weak entry point. It strengthens their advantage with a sympathetic liberal media, who cite their uniformity of publicly-stated opinion as proof of the correctness of their views. The Democrats pay no penalty for their intransigence on policy compromise. The liberal media criticize the Republicans’ failure to compromise with Democrats, when in reality, if any compromise takes place at all, it’s virtually always the result of Republicans giving in, as the recent budget negotiations have shown. There is no incentive for the Democrats to be bipartisan, in either getting favored legislation passed or improving their public image. They can hold tight to their positions knowing that any give will come from the Republicans and being confident that the influence of the mainstream media will always redound to their benefit by casting the Democrats in a favorable light.

Democratic partisanship doesn’t just mean Democratic politicians. It means the mainstream media as well. The NYT, the Washington Post, CNN, late night TV (Kimmel, Colbert et al.) never even pretend to be balanced and objective. As an example, CNN is 96% anti-Trump and has no qualms about it because it serves their larger purpose -- getting Trump out of office by any means possible. They feel that Republicans in general and Trump in particular are equal parts evil and incompetent and it is now the self-appointed duty of the liberal mainstream media to favor the Democrats. The news reporting/editorial opinion line has been permanently and intentionally erased by the liberal media and Democratic politicians know this, which is why their extreme partisanship will never be cited as a negative by the media.

Partisanship is a winning strategy for the Democrats and there’s absolutely no reason to believe it will change in the foreseeable future. In the last quarter century, when Republicans win a presidential election -- and they lose more often than they win -- they win by a very narrow margin. When the Democrats win, they win by a landslide. Democratic political discipline in exercising extreme partisanship is a major reason for their presidential edge.

Partisanship certainly works well for the Democrats when it comes to shaping public opinion and influencing policy. It’s a discipline the Democrats have developed into an art form.

Despite all the talk about reaching “across the aisle,” the Democrats never do. They never yield; they almost never vote for a Republican nominee unless they have safe political cover, they virtually never support a Republican initiative. They hold together with amazing public unanimity when it comes to opposing Republican proposals and bills.

Republicans, on the other hand, are far weaker as a party, nowhere near as steeled and uncompromising with regards to doing battle with the opposition as the Democrats.

There are many high-profile Republicans who are famous for their malleability, perhaps in some misguided desire to appear “reasonable”: John McCain, Lindsey Graham, John Kasich, Susan Collins, Paul Ryan and others often break ranks with Republican initiatives and come out willingly and publicly on the other side.

McCain, as an example, is often highly critical of his Republican Senate colleagues and of President Trump as well. Does McCain think that by displaying such supposed evenhandedness he’ll be accorded credit by the Democrats? He won’t; he’ll just be played for a fool, as so much “See? Even the highly-respected John McCain disagrees with you” PR fodder by both Democratic politicians and the liberal mainstream media. Lindsey Graham, the other half of the Republican Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum twins, also makes frequent anti-Trump statements that he may foolishly think raises his own profile as an independent thinker, but in fact, do nothing more than provide the Democrats with additional ammunition.

The other side is never going to give you credit for being so-called “reasonable” and adopting their position. The point is, one almost never – never -- sees a high-profile Democrat breaking ranks in this way with public comments damaging to their own party.

The Nancy Pelosis, Elizabeth Warrens, and Elijah Cummings of the world all spout a perfectly in-tune Democratic line, every time, every day, no cracks, no exceptions. Their partisanship is perfect, faultless, and pure on every issue. There is never the slightest give or compromise or movement towards common ground. This intentional inflexibility yields them huge benefits: by striking a harder, unblinking posture, when there is any give to be given, it’s the Republicans who always give in first.

Once a policy is proposed or a nominee presented, the Democrats unfailingly take a uniform position: all their talking points are coordinated, there is no public dissention among them or in-house squabbles that inadvertently leak out.

Above all, their positions are presented as being unarguably superior, more beneficial to the country and more morally evenhanded and compassionate for the populace. There may have been debates and arguments about ObamaCare amongst Democrats behind closed doors, but the Democrats’ public face was one of complete support for the plan. Contrast that to the Republicans’ well-publicized bickering and inability to agree on an ObamaCare replacement bill of their own, a public disagreement that gave the Democrats and the liberal media ample ammunition with which to criticize what they saw as the Republicans’ inexcusable lack of preparedness and forethought on the matter.

Democratic Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer never gives an inch to the other side. He recently said that there will be no vote for a new FBI Director until a special prosecutor is appointed. The liberal media support Democrats when they hold the process hostage in support of a Democratic position, but the mainstream media would never do that do for the Republicans. The media hailed Harry Reid’s brilliant manoeuvring to bypass normal Senate procedures and pass ObamaCare on the arcane technicality of a reconciliation vote, but the same liberal media excoriated the Republicans for changing Senate rules by means of the “nuclear option” in order to confirm the incredibly well-qualified Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch in the face of arbitrary Democratic obstinacy.

The Democrats see bipartisanship as nothing more than misguided weakness and any legislation that results from it as being bad for the country and bad for their electoral fortunes. They are justifiably secure in the knowledge that the liberal mainstream media (by far, still the dominant source of opinion-influencing information from which the undecided swing voters get their news) will cast their down-the-line partisan positions as being unified around a solid core of laudable values, while characterizing Republicans who differ from their conservative orthodoxy as proof of the questionable merits of their party’s positions.

Partisanship works for the Democrats. It makes them tougher to defeat as political opponents, because there is no weak entry point. It strengthens their advantage with a sympathetic liberal media, who cite their uniformity of publicly-stated opinion as proof of the correctness of their views. The Democrats pay no penalty for their intransigence on policy compromise. The liberal media criticize the Republicans’ failure to compromise with Democrats, when in reality, if any compromise takes place at all, it’s virtually always the result of Republicans giving in, as the recent budget negotiations have shown. There is no incentive for the Democrats to be bipartisan, in either getting favored legislation passed or improving their public image. They can hold tight to their positions knowing that any give will come from the Republicans and being confident that the influence of the mainstream media will always redound to their benefit by casting the Democrats in a favorable light.

Democratic partisanship doesn’t just mean Democratic politicians. It means the mainstream media as well. The NYT, the Washington Post, CNN, late night TV (Kimmel, Colbert et al.) never even pretend to be balanced and objective. As an example, CNN is 96% anti-Trump and has no qualms about it because it serves their larger purpose -- getting Trump out of office by any means possible. They feel that Republicans in general and Trump in particular are equal parts evil and incompetent and it is now the self-appointed duty of the liberal mainstream media to favor the Democrats. The news reporting/editorial opinion line has been permanently and intentionally erased by the liberal media and Democratic politicians know this, which is why their extreme partisanship will never be cited as a negative by the media.

Partisanship is a winning strategy for the Democrats and there’s absolutely no reason to believe it will change in the foreseeable future. In the last quarter century, when Republicans win a presidential election -- and they lose more often than they win -- they win by a very narrow margin. When the Democrats win, they win by a landslide. Democratic political discipline in exercising extreme partisanship is a major reason for their presidential edge.

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