November 07, 2004
Bipartisanship and mandates

Andrew Olmsted has an interesting post up about the call for bipartisanship currently being issued by some of the leaders of the Democratic Party. He notes four specific instances of Bush attempting to work with the Democrats upon assuming office:

•appointed Clinton judges to appellate courts after they had failed to win approval from the Senate during Clinton's term
•invited Ted Kennedy to the White House and worked extremely closely with the Senate's biggest name liberal to create the No Child Left Behind Act
•appointed a Democrat, Norm Mineta, to his Cabinet
•left a Democratic appointee, George Tenet, as Director of Central Intelligence

Contrast that with Bill Clinton's first two years in office:

•Overturning the ban on gays in the military. This eventually resulted in "Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don't Persue, Don't Harrass", but was done without any consultation from the military hierarchy, or congressional leaders of either party.
•Pushing through an enormous tax hike, by far the largest hike ever enacted. That hike received NO Republican votes, and was rejected by a fair number of Democrats as well.
•Attempting to nationalize the medical system, the most far-reaching intrusion of the federal government ever attempted in the history of the United States.
•Nomination of Ruth Bader Ginsberg to the Supreme Court. She is as far to the left as Miguel Estrada, Priscilla Owen, and Charles Pickering are to the right, yet she was confirmed on a 97-3 vote. In those halcyon, innocent days, nominees were actually voted upon by the full senate, rather than filibustered by a panicky minority.
•A cabinet that "Looked like America" only if America consisted of wealthy Democratic donors and activists. There were no Republicans in Clinton's cabinet in his first term, and there was an over-representation of lawyers and academics.

Recall that Clinton received 43 percent of the popular vote in 1992. If the Republicans had not captured congress in 1994, there is no telling what else Bill Clinton's "mandate" would have brought forth.

The media's talking heads are squawking about Bush's lack of a mandate, even during his second term. The last time a Democratic candidate received Bush's percentage of the vote was in 1964. However, that never stopped the left from using their control of congress (they controlled the House from the Eisenhower administration through 1994, and the senate from the Eisenhower administration through 1980, and again from 1986 through 1994) to impose their vision upon the rest of the country. Bush received a 4 million vote margin of victory, and the Republicans picked up four seats in the Senate and two seats in the House. The only incumbent senator who was defeated was Minority Leader Tom Daschle. There is "no mandate" only in the eyes of Democratic Party cheerleaders who denied a mandate when Reagan swept 49 states in 1984. No mandate is possible when one is discussing Republicans, for only Democrats can have a mandate, whether or not they win a majority of the votes. E. J. Dionne and the New York Times have told us so.

posted on November 07, 2004 07:29 PM


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