Should We Even Try Bipartisanship?

If bipartisanship even was possible, is it desirable with the Republican Party we now face that is committed to the undermining our democracy through the Big Lie? John Pavlovitz is a minister and author who I certainly don’t always agree with, but I found much of what he wrote in this article persuasive and profound. It is certainly provocative with the title “Terrorists Don’t Deserve Bipartisanship.”

I will quote from some of it.

“The idea of bipartisanship suggests that there are two very different but equally valid sides represented at a given moment. This is inaccurate in this version of America.

Knowingly perpetuating a dangerous lie of election fraud, is not a valid side.

Fighting a thorough, objective examination of the deadly attack on Congress intended to overturn an election, is not a valid side.

Legislatively cancelling the votes of people of color is not a valid side.
Justifying the murder of unarmed people of color by law enforcement, is not a valid side.

Voting unanimously against COVID aid while opposing masks and vaccines in the wake of 500,000 deaths, is not a valid side . . .

Demanding that teachers no longer teach about racism in America, is not a valid side.

Elevating such positions by implying that they deserve an equal seat at the table is simply reckless. To claim a desire to work with the violent lunacy of Marjorie Taylor Greene or the nonsensical, ignorant gun lust of Lauren Boebert or the unabashed sedition of Josh Hawley or the blind obstructionism of Mitch McConnell — is at best disingenuous and at worst, moral complicity. Throughout our history there have been moments when unequivocal stands against an existential threat need to be made. That’s where America is right now.

For months, Democrats have been begging Republicans for a bipartisan investigation of the January 6th terrorist attack on the Capitol, and they have steadfastly refused. This is because the attack itself was partisan. That was the whole point: to overthrow democracy and deny the voice of the majority and silence an entire group of Americans.

Since the moment the halls of Congress were breached, Republicans have laughably declared the real culprits to be BLM, ANTIFA, and the “Radical Left.” If they really believed this to be true, they’d be loudly demanding an investigation right now — but they are refusing it.

The only reason for a political party to resist documenting information about the Capitol attack, is because they planned, supported, participated in, and stood to benefit from it — period. Had the coup attempt been successful and the last guy was still president and Republicans now had the majority in Congress, do you really think they’d be talking about bipartisanship? Of course not.

There are no false equivalencies to be made here at this place and time in the history of this nation . . .

To entertain conspiracy or abide terrorism or enable bigotry in the name of some ceremonial both sides-ism makes a mockery of the costly battles so many vulnerable communities have fought before us, in order to make this a place where blind nationalism does not rule the day and where a minority of extremists cannot have their way . . .

I will not partner with terrorism and I refuse to make peace with white supremacy and I will not cooperate with fascists.

I’m not apologizing for that and neither should the rest of us.”

I found particularly compelling Pavlovitz’s question: “Had the coup attempt been successful and the last guy was still president and Republicans now had the majority in Congress, do you really think they’d be talking about bipartisanship?”

That’s something that needs to be discussed more. What if what they tried on January 6th had worked? What would America be like today?

One reason it needs to be discussed is because they are still trying. They are trying in Arizona with a sham audit conducted by and for and to achieve the ends of supporters of the former President. They are trying it through ridiculous expectations that Trump will be magically “reinstated” in August. While absurd, those expectations risk more violence from those who would seek to make it true by force.

They are still trying by opposing an investigation of January 6th that the American people would trust as nonpartisan. They are still trying by making the Big Lie of election fraud a litmus test for party loyalty and by penalizing those very few in the Republican Party with the conscience and honesty to reject it.

The danger remains as perpetuating it has been adopted as the ideology of one of America’s major parties. America, and that means the true lovers of this nation and its democratic principles, must reject it.

Retired lawyer & Army vet in The Villages of Florida. Lifelong: Republican (pre-Trump), Constitution buff, science nerd & dog lover. Twitter: @KeithDB80