“But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned;

if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity;

but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand."

Ezekiel 33:6

"A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring."

Proverbs 25:26

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A time for fightin'

by Michael A. Walsh

The hills are alive with the sound of bipartisanship these days, especially from the Democrats. But don't be fooled. Far from acknowledging that last month's election results bespoke a deep-seated rebellion against the Obama administration's course, the president and his henchmen are cynically exploiting a largely illusory, media-fueled notion that Americans abhor conflict.  Hence, the recent billing and cooing about finding "common ground" during the lame-duck session and beyond. It's a mating call Republicans in Congress can and must ignore.

The Founders didn't explicitly envision our modern political parties, but they were plenty aware of the rough-and-tumble of political factionalism -- in fact, they enshrined it in the words of the First Amendment: "Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech."

As all the debates at the time made clear, the speech being given explicit protection wasn't pornography, sedition or incitement to riot. No, the speech at the heart of the First Amendment was and is political. And political speech is, by its very nature, contentious.
Politics, when properly practiced, does not whisper the sweet nothings of accommodation, consensus and reaching across the aisle. The aisle is there for a reason -- to separate two opposing viewpoints -- and it ought to be both respected and celebrated.
There is nothing intrinsically heroic about working with the other side -- which is one of the reasons John McCain's 2008 candidacy was doomed, since it was predicated on exactly this idea. Collaboration (let's call it by its real, historically unpleasant name) should be a last resort, not a first.

About the only time in American history there was "consensus" was when George Washington was twice elected President.
Contention is not the American exception, it is the rule. That's why it was good to see Mitch McConnell's Senate Republicans give the president's feel-good phoniness the cold shoulder with Wednesday's threat to bring the Senate to a halt over the so-called "Bush tax cuts," otherwise known as the "current tax structure," as passed by Congress during Bush's first term and unfortunately set to sunset on Jan. 1.

Naturally, this has once again set off cries in the fever swamps that those evil Republicans -- who lacked the numbers to block a single Democratic initiative during the first two years of the current administration -- are trying to "sabotage" Obama, his party and the country through the simple mechanism of . . . well, non-bipartisanship.

This meme has been raging through the leftist blogosphere ever since the first week of November, when the magnitude of the liberal defeat became clear.

But now, after two years of gloating that "I won," Obama's extension of an olive branch to the Republicans looks more like subterfuge than magnanimity. There is absolutely nothing in the president's background or past behavior to indicate that he takes seriously any opposing ideas, or that he has any respect for those who differ with him.

When your life has been a glide path to the top -- Punahou, Occidental, Columbia, Harvard, senator and president -- why should you believe or behave otherwise?

Republicans shouldn't expect any meaningful cooperation from Obama, his czars or his regulators, who will continue to beetle away at their principal governing project, the expansion of the state at the expense of the individual.

Except in rare instances, bipartisanship is a chimera -- a ready excuse to kick the can down the road while papering over real philosophical differences. That's a feminized, feel-good kumbaya fantasy we can no longer afford.

In politics, when practiced rightly, cooperation isn't the goal.
Victory is.





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