Bipartisanship is a Liberal Trap

May 8, 2001

Republicans seem to fall for it every time. They tell us that they just want to do the honorable thing. The Congress is evenly divided, they say, so we have to work with the other side. First – Congress is not evenly divided – Republicans have the majority of votes in both houses. Second – Democrats have no intention of working with Republicans, unless Republicans change their agenda to match that of the Democrats. Need proof? Read it in their own words.


“The issues that Al Gore and Joe Lieberman ran on, strengthening education, protecting Social Security and Medicare, adding a prescription drug benefit to Medicare, passing a real patient’s bill of rights and using our current prosperity wisely and responsibly. These are the issues that will dominate the next Congress.”
-Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) December 14, 2000

“But while the election ended up in a virtual tie, the American people do not expect gridlock. They want us to act on the issues that matter most to their families. Making every school a great public school. Getting Medicare prescription medicine benefits for seniors. Passing a strong Patients’ Bill of Rights. Tax cuts for the middle-class. Campaign reform. Election reform.” -House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt(D-MO) December 14, 2000

“If President Bush put together a doable legislative agenda, he could accomplish a heck of a lot.”
-Representative Charles Rangel, D-NY) December – December 17, 2000

“But, Mr. Rangel said, beyond the Republicans’ short list, the issues where Mr. Bush is likely to find success are Democratic issues.”
-The Washington Times, December 18, 2000

“Democrats are ready to meet with President-elect Bush and Vice President-elect Cheney to talk about how we can work together to do each of these things.”
-Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) December 14, 2000

“On ABC’s ‘This Week,’ Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota made clear that, while he’s all for bipartisanship, the GOP surely will dash that spirit quickly if Bush insists on school vouchers or a large across-the-board tax cut.” -Article, City of Hardball, Daggers welcomes President-elect, Chicago Tribune, December 18, 2000


“The presidential election was a tie. In the next election, the House will be nearly tied. The Senate will be tied at 50-50, and that has never happened before in our nation’s history. Bipartisanship isn’t an option anymore; it is a requirement. The American people have divided responsibility for leadership right down the middle.”
-Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD), December 14, 2000

“We all know that the vice president received about 300,000 more votes in the popular vote, and so, from that perspective, I think, given the popular vote went to one candidate and the electoral vote went to the other, one could call that a tie. You could call it a tie because of the very narrow difference in Florida.”
-Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) December 14, 2000

“I accept his legality, because the courts and Congress will say he’s legally the president. But in a democracy, your legitimacy comes from the consent of the governed. He lost the popular vote of the governed.”
-Jesse Jackson, December 17, 2000

“The Bush forces may have short-term pleasure, but long term pain for our country.”
-Jesse Jackson, December 11, 2000


“Democrats are trying to dictate the Bush agenda by defining ‘bipartisanship.’ They’re more or less saying it’s the goal of a successful Bush administration, and of course Gephardt and Daschle are saying we have to buy into their partisanship – then we’ll be ‘bipartisan.’ We talk about a bipartisan effort, which we welcome, but bipartisanship doesn’t mean they get to pick the agenda.” -House Majority Whip Tom DeLay, December 15, 2000

“It’s a town full of intrigue and full of crap. I think Bush will see Democrats extending one hand in friendship, with the other behind their back holding a dagger.”
-Republican consultant Glen Bolger, December 18, 2000

“There is a clear sign they are going to follow the scorched-earth strategy of (former Senate Democratic Leader) George Mitchell. When the first President Bush extended his hand for bipartisan cooperation, Mitchell bit it. He made it clear that nothing was going to pass unless it was part of the Democratic agenda.”
-Mark Davis, presidential speech writer in the George Bush, Sr. administration


“I just want to let you know. Mr. President, that we welcome you here in this Capitol, just as you are welcomed in your state capital in Austin, Texas, in a bipartisan way.”
-Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert, December 18, 2000

“This is a time for a new beginning, a new atmosphere, and a new tone. I believe we have a leader in George W. Bush that will provide direction toward a more cooperative atmosphere.” -Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, December 18, 2000

“The simple fact is that next year, especially in the Senate, neither party can accomplish anything without the cooperation of the other. We are going to have to do things differently.”  -Senator Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, GOP’s weekly radio address, December 16, 2000

Tom DeWeese
[email protected]

Tom DeWeese is one of the nation’s leading advocates of individual liberty, free enterprise, private property rights, personal privacy, back-to-basics education and American sovereignty and independence.