The Misguided and Harmful Myth of Bi-Partisanship

Chad Blair/Civil Beat

In her present campaign for the U.S. Senate, the Republican candidate Linda Lingle stresses moderation and bipartisanship. “I am running for the U.S. Senate,” she said in a recent press release, “because we need to stop creating congressional gridlock which then becomes crises. We need to start crafting common-sense solutions. And we need to find reasonable compromises.”

A nice sentiment. Who could be against common sense? It’s also a good campaign strategy given the state of the Republican Party in Hawaii. But it’s wishful thinking, and, worse, it is contrary to what nowadays it takes to be an effective U.S. senator. The newly elected senator from Hawaii, whether he or she is a Democrat or Republican, will be effective if he or she is an across the aisle compromiser because there is no longer room for moderates in the U.S. Senate. Most have retired. They are a dying breed, literally. Older senators are much more likely to be moderates than are younger senators. A moderate U.S. senator from either party is now much more likely to be an isolate than a dealmaker.

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