I've had this discussion several times, and since I have actually gotten some decent response, thought I would write it out for my Internet/Facebook friends.
Bipartisanship is a bad thing. Well, not always a bad thing, but more often than not a bad thing.
Not because it is wrong to work together on something, but because of how it can be manipulated.
I'll describe it this way:
Mr. L(eft) and Mr. R(ight) are coming together on a bill. Both have their own opinions. For the sake of argument, I'll weight their opinions on a scale.
Let's say 0 to 10, and since we read left to right, 0 = extreme leftist view, 10 = right-wing view.
Now, as they come together on their bill, Mr.R presents a bill at 10. Mr. L, rebuts with a 0. Average = 5. Middle ground (mean = median). All well and good. Now generally, Mr. R tends to think of and look at legislation on an independent basis (as most Conservatives understand and accept that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and the freedom to express it), while Mr. L basis everything on a greater agenda, and that is move the country to the Left and to force everyone to comply and accept their positions.
Now in real life, Mr. L rarely sits at a 0, and Mr. R rarely sits at a 10 on the ideology scale.
So, more realistically, Mr. R comes to the table with a Bill that is in the 7 range. Mr. L, knowing that the overall agenda is to continually move the country itself to the 0, counters with a bill in the 0 range.
Average = 3.5.
Mr. R, not happy with such an extreme bill, refuses to budge and is denounced as not being "bipartisan". So, Mr. R caves in, brings the bill to a 6, while Mr. L, to look like he caved in as well, brings his bill to a 1.
Average = 3.5.
Now, let's assign a starting point of 5 to show a starting state to the overall political status of the
country. (5+3.5)/2 = 4.25
Bill #2 is presented, same essential process happens all over again... 8 and 2, but under pressure of "bipartisanship", the bill is brought closer to a 6 again, and we end up with
So the political state moves to: (5+3.5+4)/3 = 4.1
Now, if anyone knows anything about statistics and averages...the more you skew an average to one side, the harder it is to move it back to the median point on the scale..
Ex:(5+3.5+4+8)/4 = 5.125
To get Mr. L to concede to a bill that sits at point 8 on the scale, would require a huge departure for Mr. L from his ideology.
This is what has been happening in politics now for a long time. Republicans and Conservatives have been bringing forth bills that at best fit in the 7 to 8 range, some sitting at or near 5...and Mr. L has taken advantage of it.
Meeting in the middle through Bipartisanship (mean or average) ends up unfortunately not meeting at the median - even though everyone is lead to believe that it's the "Best Ever" because both sides worked and voted on it.
For as bad as the Obamacare legislation is, it does go to prove this model. Mr. L went for the 0, and this time, got it. No offset, no balance. The people of the USA have now seen Mr. L for the full extent of his ideology, and where he sits on the scale. We have also seen the dangers of allowing too many "Conservatives" to sit in the 5 and 6 positions. Time to start the steady progression back to the right.