When I took Dr. Mossholder's Executive Management course in the MBA program, I had already been warned about the in-class negotiating exercise the good doctor conducted every quarter. For the exercise, the class was divided in half. Each side represented one half of the earth's nations. Each side was given a certain number of long-range nuclear weapons. Each side was instructed to make a decision and then come to the negotiating table to tell the other side what that decision was and negotiate some way to live in peace.
The problem was that the husband of one member on the opposing side had taken the course and let her in on the secret to winning. When we arrived at the negotiating table for our exercise, armed with our great, glorious plan to compromise and live in harmony, we learned that our opponents had launched a pre-emptive nuclear strike and had already wiped out all means of our side being able to defend itself. We got an F that day.
Did they cheat? Only if learning from the past can be considered cheating!
The Republican party has much history to study when it comes to bipartisan politics. There may be examples in that history where something good was accomplished, but I believe those examples are few and very far between. When you mix something you know is Right with something you know is Wrong, you knowingly strengthen the Wrong and weaken the Right.
Let's briefly consider the liberals' core list of beliefs. They believe in a woman's right to kill her unborn child at various points in the gestation period, right up to the point of birth. They believe the goverment should be BIG and POWERFUL enough to squelch conservative speech, limit or do away with the right to own and bear arms, and increase taxes to fund goverment spending and entitlement programs. They do not believe that individuals can govern or provide for themselves: goverment must do that for them.
Conservatives believe in small government, pro-life and pro-business policies, low taxes, personal liberty, strong defense, the abilities of individuals to govern and provide for themselves, and that you win peace through strength.
We, as thinking human beings, can look at this elementary - and admittedly simplified - comparison between two belief systems and realize that one will have a positive impact on individuals and one will have a negative impact.
How can conservative legislation, when based on conservative beliefs, ever be bettered through bipartisanship? The result is that conservative legislation, and eventually the conservative message, becomes diluted and weakened. You can't mix Right with Wrong and expect Right to maintain its integrity
Senator McCain touted his skills at bipartisanship during this presidential campaign as if it were a positive, a trophy to wave above his head. In essence, what he was confessing to us was that he has developed an ability to compromise in negotiating at the expense of weakening the conservative message. In contrast, Senator McCain complained that President-Elect Obama had never "reached across the aisle" in an act of bipartisanship. What McCain thought was a sword with which to attack his opponent was nothing more than a scepter of coronation, dubbing Obama as someone who doesn't compromise the message, wrong as it may be. Senator McCain got an F on November 4, 2008.
In rebuilding the conservative party - whether or not it's called Republican - the new definition of bipartisan politics must be those instances when the left/moderates agree with Us. Anything else will compromise and dilute what is right and true.