"She called us both mules… she said we could give ourselves airs, and get ourselves all slicked up like racehorses, but we were just mules in horse harness, and we didn't fool anybody." -- Vivien Leigh, "Gone With the Wind"
LONG BEACH (gorewon2000.net) February 5, 2001 -- In another brazen attempt to distort the English language and control the language of political debate in America, the right wing has redefined the term "bipartisanship."
Thanks to the new Bush administration's propaganda offensive, and the media's complicity in adopting "The Big Lie," the political value of bipartisanship has been redefined to mean "acquiescent collaboration."
Real bipartisanship, a political value deserving of praise, means working together, across party and ideological lines, on matters of mutual interest and agreement. In the rough-and-tumble world of politics, it is all-too easy to allow quarrels over areas of intense disagreement to breed contempt for political opponents. Bipartisanship demands that when politicians find areas of agreement, they must not allow ill-will engendered by hard-fought battles over other matters to prevent them from acting in concert, or for the public good. Real bipartisanship demands that you oppose and defeat your opponents on matters of substance, not as emotional retaliation.
The new "bipartisanship" demanded by the Bush Administration borrows nothing from this proud tradition, other than its name. In another coup -- this time a propaganda coup -- Bush, along with the media, have attacked Democrats for failing to be bipartisan, simply because they refuse to abandon deeply held principles, and continue to insist on representing the constituents that elected them to public office in the first place.
"Principled opposition" and "accountability to the voters" -- two more political values once revered in America -- have gone on the rhetorical junk heap, alongside so many other national values offended by the Bush camp's actions during Coup2K. And the media, in another dereliction of duty, is not demanding an explanation for this shift. I demand an explanation.
The media does not apply this new standard of "bipartisanship" equally. Following the Florida election debacle, many positive statements were made by the Bush camp, asserting that electoral reform would be a "bipartisan issue," and would receive the support of the new administration. The American electorate strongly supported, and continues to support, this issue. But now, Bush and his surrogates have made it clear that even if the Congressional Republicans were to forge bipartisan consensus on this issue, the Administration would oppose them. Period. The media, however, remain silent about THIS PARTICULAR failure to act in a bipartisan fashion. For the media, Democratic opposition to Ashcroft was utterly wrong, but Bush's opposition to electoral reform isn't.
HOW DO WE WIN?
We win by refusing to give the word "bipartisanship" its new meaningless meaning. We win by demanding that the media differentiate between a "collaborator" (one who cooperates with or willingly assists an enemy) and a bipartisan. We win by demanding that they apply these standards equally, regardless of Party affiliation. We win by taking back the English language.NEXT:
"5 HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE DISSIDENTS"