Partisanship is alive and well
What politicians say and what they seek are still very often
Even as presidential candidates promote "non-partisanship," the
national political parties promote the very opposite in the party
platforms adopted by both Democrats and Republicans at their
Monitored and sometimes guided by the presidential candidates,
the platform committees assembled what is supposed to be the
"official" message of what the parties stand for.
Each platform denounces partisanship, yet each platform contains
strong condemnations of the other party.
The Republican platform, for example, includes these
- "The Democrats' naïve thinking that international
terrorists could be dealt with within the normal criminal justice
- "Reform of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act was so
vital, and ... the Democrats' opposition to it was so wrong."
- "National defense was neglected and under-funded by the Clinton
- "We flatly reject the Democratic Party's idea that America can
succeed in Afghanistan only by failure in Iraq."
- "The other party wants more government control over people's
lives and earnings; Republicans do not. The other party wants to
continue pork barrel politics; we are disgusted by it, no matter
who practices it. The other party wants to ignore fiscal problems
while squandering billions on ineffective programs; we are
determined to end that waste."
- "For more than three decades - since enactment of the Budget
Act of 1974 by a Democrat-controlled Congress - the federal
government has operated within a rigged system notable for its lack
- "We reject the Democrats' view that judicial nominees should
guarantee particular results even before the case is filed."
- "We condemn the opposition, by some members of the Democratic
Party, to recent judicial nominees because of their ethnicity or
- "Today's Democratic Party views the tax code as a tool for
social engineering. They use it to control our behavior, steer our
choices, and change the way we live our lives."
- "The Democratic Party has been clear about its goals: It wants
to raise taxes."
- "Eight years ago, when Democrats controlled the Executive
Branch, small business faced a hostile regulatory agenda."
- "The Democrats' approach to employment policy is a retreat to
failed models of the past: new regulatory burdens on employers that
make it more difficult for businesses, big and small, to hire and
- "We firmly oppose efforts by Democrats to block the
construction of new coal-fired power plants."
- "The American people rejected Democrats' attempted government
takeover of health care in 1993."
- "Unbelievably, the Democratic Party has now pledged to repeal
the Defense of Marriage Act, which would subject every state to the
redefinition of marriage by a judge without ever allowing the
people to vote on the matter."
The strong language condemning the other side was not, of
course, confined to the GOP. As the Democrat platform states:
- "We will vigorously enforce our voting rights laws instead of
making them tools of partisan political agendas; we oppose laws
that require identification in order to vote or register to
- "Leadership must begin with steps to undo the damage of the
- "We come together ... to prevent a third Bush term."
- "The Bush administration Department of Labor has failed in its
obligation to stand up and protect American workers. The Bush
administration is the only administration that has never
voluntarily issued a significant final standard for workplace
- "We will end the Bush administration's war on science, restore
scientific integrity, and return to evidence-based
- "Reckless, special interest driven corporate loopholes and tax
cuts for the wealthy that have been the centerpiece of the Bush
administration's economic policy."
- "We reject the proposals of those who want to continue on
George Bush's disastrous policies. Such leadership must begin with
steps to undo the damage of the Bush years."
- "The Republican leadership said they would keep us safe, but
they overextended our military and failed to respond to new
- "Our vision of a strengthened and improved health care system
for all Americans stands in stark contrast to the Republican
- "We reject the notion of the presumptive Republican nominee
that Social Security is a disgrace."
Strong words. Harsh words. Words consistent with America's
rough-and-tumble political history and traditions.
There is nothing wrong with comparative advertising, and each
party shows they're unbashful about it. Yet it's politically
correct to decry partisanship. That pretense is evaporating,
however, in the heat of the final two months of a red-hot race for
Ernest Istook is
recovering from serving 14 years in Congress and is now a
distinguished fellow at The Heritage Foundation.
First appeared in the WorldNetDaily