The Party\’s Over

By Thomas Kochman - 03.16.2010

David Brook’s recent NY Times column “The Spirit of Sympathy” speaks to the decline of civility and personal relations in the Senate and increasing polarization along strictly party lines following the pattern of the House.

But who is responsible for this fissure? Presumably bipartisanship in the past was at one time driven by pragmatism and common cause and a triumph of persuasion and personal relationships over partisan politics .

What we have now is Republican resistance and obstinacy rooted in ideology, an “all or nothing” mentality, and the self delusion that, despite losing the election, they still “speak for the American people”.

For persuasion and personal relations to prevail across party lines disagreements have to be rationally based, remediable, constructive and ultimately humanistic –a sensibility and sympathy for how laws, policies, practices and social neglect impact people –not just my people but all people. Read more »