Problem of Partisanship in Washington and its Effects on the American Government
Partisan is a word used in political terms to describe a devoted party member. In the US, the term Partisan has undergone several refinements since its inception in 1952 and currently it is used to identify a person who has a mental attachment to a political party. Partisans are often associated with the voting behavior they exhibit. It has been established that partisanship is often influenced by present happenings, state heads, resolutions and time period setting. In Washington, partisanship has varied effects on the day-to-day work of the American Government. The first problem related to the problem of partisanship is the delay imposed on major state concerns like the movement of political reforms and state bills. Currently, an obstruction is being experienced on the proposed reforms on the health care bill and the employment bill that seeks to enforce control in the finance industry.
Senator Merkley asserts that the current Senate is undergoing a form of social malfunction that has led to animosity between the different party members (Pope, 2010). He recalls that in the period 1970s-1980s, in-house relationships amongst different party members were healthy. With such attitudes and behaviors, it becomes somewhat impossible to break the stalemate since every move is treated with distrust and even dismissed without any second thought. A good example is the proposition laid out by Senators Harkin and Shaheen that was to endow that senate with power to pause legislation. Although the idea was a good one, it was met by an upsurge of bipartisan antagonism that was described as sardonic. A prominent leader declared that the motion could only be approved if it got a majority vote of 67. Another leader was observed to reject the proposal with an immediacy that was alarming by declaring that the idea was stupid. That can be termed as the end of a brilliant proposal.
Consequently, partisanship hampers good decision-making and judgment leading to disappointment on the side of many members. Senator Bayh is cited to have quit the Senate after he noticed that the two sides are always agreeing on nothing. Such cases have the same effect of stalling State activities and decisions up until a proper replacement is found to fill the gap left. Another problem that presents itself in the subject of partisanship is the lowering of citizens’ confidence in the government’s position to govern and deal with national issues. Recently, President Obama’s move to ensure that the health bill is discussed saw him request for a meeting with the Republicans that was to be scheduled on February 25, 2010. The Republican leaders then mailed a letter to the President informing him that if the scheduled meeting was to deal with the job-related bill that the American citizens had so rejected, then the Republicans stand would match the predetermined views of the people.
The Republicans move was however to create dissension on the populace after it was used by the media as an agitation tool (USA Today, 2010). Numerous texts were sent on social networks like twitter and it just served to cause more harm on the citizens’ marred view of the government. A level of insight infused in the analysis of the problem indicates that the root problem to this stalemate is the shift of the political groups from a state of antagonism to that of enormity. This view supports Senator Merkley’s view that the Washington culture has been altered for the worse over the years. Political specialists have attributed the culture change to the emergence of party voting as a consortium. Nevertheless, comparing the current conduct to historical political citations proves that partisan relationships are more disciplined. It was quite common for the Senate members to get physical on issues they failed to agree. This should not be confused to mean that fights have been eliminated in meetings.
Such confrontations in the present age are usually censured as they were noted to create a bad picture on the state administration. For example, in 2009, Wilson who is a Republican, loudly dismissed one Congress meeting presided by President Obama by claiming that he was lying. Although Wilson later sought for the President’s forgiveness, the Democrats were not contented. This is a classic example of how the tampering of personal relations can affect the working relations. Were these claims aired over the media, it would certainly have imposed a negative picture of the President. Many individuals would have perceived the move as disrespectful, and would have prompted the same behavior on another, if they interpreted it to mean that it was a right deed (Klein, 2010).
In another instance, a near explosion that was to be executed in December 2009 was turned into a partisanship search for benefits. The issue was screened with the different teams arguing whether the case should be held as crime or an advantage if the country could use the bomber to infiltrate enemy lines and be an enemy fighter. This and other baseless deliberations have been the mainstay of the Senate discussions. Citizens therefore have little support for the government as they hold that it is a time that the country desires leaders and not political bickers. This setting clearly sums up the setting that surrounds the country based on the deterioration of governmental confidence that has been damaged by partisanship.
In conclusion, researchers feel that the amplification of partisanship in Washington is to be partially blamed on the President (Klein, 2010). They argue that President Obama should actively take sides on all public issues as it raises the voting fractions by a fifth. In foreign matters that are more varied, the voting is enhanced by more than a half. This in turn is projected to reduce the partisanship stalemate. Consequently, it will also mend the ailing citizen mistrust and lack of goodwill on the current government. The Senate should also practice the use of logic as opposed to partisanship in decision-making that is responsible for emotional responses in the government.
Klein, Ezra. “With his health-care summit, Obama could make partisanship worse.” The Washington Post. 21 Feb. 2010. Web. 12 Apr. 2010.
Pope, Charles. “Washington’s partisan politics turn adversaries into enemies.” The Oregonian. 15 Feb. 2010. Web. 12 Apr. 2010.
USA Today. “Our view on the tone in Washington: In today’s partisan world, no opportunity is wasted.” USA Today. 6 Jan. 2010. Web. 12 Apr. 2010.