A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet
I hate to tell you this… but BIPARTISANSHIP is “UNAMERICAN”!
This is a partisan country. Partisans founded it. It was founded because there was a HUGE difference of opinion between the people of the colonies and the King of England. Democracy is “partisan”. It is the nature of our country and the nature of our government.
Allow me to tell you a short story that might help clear up the misunderstanding about the partisan and bipartisan nature of our country and government:
There was a truly bitter election back in the year 1800 between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. When all the voting was finished Thomas Jefferson had won. But… and here is the big but… as the result of a quirk in the way the Electoral College worked at the time, Jefferson was tied with his own Vice-Presidential candidate, Aaron Burr.
If you are ahead of me here. You know that things just got completely out of hand. See, the election went to the House of Representatives. The Federalists, who had supported John Adams, hated Thomas Jefferson so much they decided to throw all their support to his Vice-Presidential candidate Aaron Burr. Now, at the very moment Burr understood that he just MIGHT become President, well, it was “Katie bar the door!” Burr pulled out all the stops and he began maneuvering for those votes.
Back then the rules required the House of Representatives to vote by state. Well, on the first ballot Jefferson had eight states. That was one state short of what he needed. Six states voted for Burr and two states were tied. Now, over the next few days the House of Representatives had thirty-two more ballots… and guess what? Nothing changed; Jefferson and Burr remained tied as the vote totals remained unchanged!
Things were getting hot in The House... And that’s putting it mildly! Why, Jefferson’s supporters threatened to arm themselves and cause all sorts of bad things, including throwing some hot lead around the Well of the House, if Jefferson was not elected! And… they were not kidding! President John Adams, himself, is on record as having wrote: “a civil war was expected.” Things were so hot and tempers were so inflamed and the fear of violence was so grave that the governor of Virginia, who, by the way, was a Jefferson supporter, placed guards around a supply of 4,000 firearms to prevent them being seized by the Federalist and possibly used in forcing an outcome favoring their candidate.
The sole congressman from Delaware, a fellow by the name of John Bayard, controlled his state’s vote. The Federalists had been, up to this point, supporting Burr. But, after three days of ballot after ballot, Bayard announced that he was going to abstain. That would throw the election to Jefferson. Some really angry Federalist took to the floor of the house and shouted “Traitor, Traitor” at Bayard. But ole John Bayard stood his ground. He later said he did it to save his country.
As a result, the deadlock was broken and Thomas Jefferson became the President. Some four years later Alexander Hamilton was shot and killed in a duel with Aaron Burr. Hamilton had been one of the Federalists who refused to support Burr under any circumstances. Hamilton referred to Burr as “the most unfit man in the U.S. for the office of President.”
I share this wee bit of US history in an attempt to demonstrate that partisanship in the government of the US is in no way new. No. Absolutely not! It is the way the government works, it is the way the government was planned to work. Those loud calls for bipartisanship are deceptive as can be. They are used often as a tool to divert your attention away from the conniving behind the scenes by the very congresspersons calling loudest for bipartisanship. Understand that in a bipartisan House of Representatives, for example, it would insure that every piece of legislation coming before that body would be passed. That includes the rotten pieces of legislation as well as the good. At least with a partisan House the legislation will be debated and examined before it is passed or defeated.
The fact that Obama is polarizing the country is no surprise to those of us who have been around the block a few times. That was a given from the “git go.” The country is split, almost exactly in half, over Obama and his henchman’s plans for the country. I count myself, proudly, amongst that half who wants to see Obama’s presidency fail, utterly, and his plans and machinations all come to naught. If I am right, and I believe that I am, things are going to get a lot worse in the Polarization Department as the months and years go by, and all the trials and tribulations the American people are going to have to bear under an Obama regime unfold.
Many of those Americans who voted for Obama will rue the day! Had they listened to the warnings from us “Old Bulls” they could have saved themselves, and the country, a lot of grief.