November 3rd, 2009
10:55 AM ET

What happened to bipartisanship?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/08/22/art.capitol.dome.cnn.jpg]

Julian E. Zelizer
Special to CNN

When Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced he would be pushing for a public option in the final health care bill, it looked as if he had given up on the possibility of a bipartisan agreement.

Most Republicans have been steadfast in their opposition to the Democratic health care proposals. The only serious possibility for GOP backing has come from Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine. While expressing support for much of the Senate Finance Committee bill, she has said she would accept a public option only if private markets and new regulations fail to control costs and lower premiums.

Reid's decision is not a sign of commitment to an ideal but rather an act of political realism. The notion that either party will be able to find substantive bipartisan support for legislation today is dubious. The political forces that generate partisan conflict in Washington are deeply rooted and hard to change.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: 360° Radar • Julian E. Zelizer • Raw Politics
soundoff (One Response)
  1. Conserve' for USA

    This is what happens when kids come into power. It's their way or no way. They do not care what the majority of the United States citizens want, only what they want. The new elections will show them how happy the country is with them. That is unless "ACORN" helps again.

    November 3, 2009 at 12:48 pm |